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Juvenile Cases

Juvenile Delinquency Hearings Require an Informed,  Emphatic Approach

Call Matt for a free case evaluation

Juvenile Cases Need to be managed by an experienced attorney.

If your child has been arrested, s/he faces a juvenile disciplinary hearing. This type of hearing is different from those that are held for adult criminal charges in that the proceedings are conducted as a civil matter instead of a criminal one. Some of the most common reasons your child faces a juvenile delinquency proceeding are

• Property crimes (like shoplifting or theft)

• Underage drinking or minor-age DWI

• Drug possession or trafficking charges

• Disorderly conduct

• Battery

• Criminal mischief (vandalism)

• Criminal trespass

• Burglary

According to Indiana Statute, a child commits a delinquent act according to these terms:

• if, before reaching the age of 18 years, the child commits an act that would be an offense if committed by an adult

• but is not considered a delinquent child if an act is committed by a person over which the juvenile court lacks jurisdiction

• The statute reads as follows:

IC 31-37-2-1 Sec. 1. A child is a delinquent child if, before becoming eighteen (18) years of age, the child: (1) commits a delinquent act described in this chapter; and (2) needs care, treatment, or rehabilitation that: (A) the child is not receiving; (B) the child is unlikely to accept voluntarily; and (C) is unlikely to be provided or accepted without the coercive intervention of the court.

Because juvenile delinquency proceedings are civil (not criminal) matters, a magistrate or judge’s discretion is far-reaching and vast in terms of how the case is treated based on the disposition and circumstances of your child. It is possible that a judge or magistrate might determine that a child should be placed on informal probation. In more extreme cases, the child might be placed under the custody and care of the Department of Corrections. Your choice of defense will make a large impact the outcome of your child’s case and as such, his or her future.

Matt is a solid choice to defend your child.

He understands that when youth are accused of delinquent acts, the entire family is impacted. The importance of good guidance and sensitivity for your child’s needs is always of utmost importance to Matt when handling juvenile cases. Matt is a NITA Master Trial Advocate. Why does this matter? Because he has been practicing law for over two decades and specializes in being a trial lawyer, Matt has a keen sense of what magistrates and judges come to expect in juvenile civil proceedings. Matt has helped many young clients and their families prepare for proceedings, will address your family’s concerns, and in many cases, has had charges dismissed altogether. Although outcomes of cases cannot be guaranteed, what you can count on is Matt working relentlessly to defend your child.

If your child has been detained by the Allen County Justice Center (ACJC), the state must file a petition that alleges the delinquent act within seven (7) days from the date that the child was taken into custody.

Your child has the right to a trial (fact-finding hearing) within 20 business days after the petition was filed (business days meaning the exclusion of weekends and holidays). During proceedings, the state must prove every element of the alleged offense(s) beyond a reasonable doubt. Your child has the same rights as a defendant in the adult system. These constitutional safeguards must be followed. 

Call Matt right now for a free case evaluation. 

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For further information about Indiana Juvenile Court, charges, probation, and what to expect, please click here.