During adolescence, the areas of the brain that aid in reasoning, planning, and mood are still developing. For that reason, this stage of life carries with it a propensity to engage in risky behavior. Much of this less than safe behavior will end up doing no harm to a teenager’s health and safety, but certain actions have consequences. Adolescents who are caught after committing minor crimes or offenses still have to face the law, but the rules for youthful offenders are different than those for adults. If you or your child is charged for committing a crime such as shoplifting, vandalism, or drug use, these important points about the law can help in navigating the repercussions.
1. Your Behavior Around a Police Officer Can Help or Hurt You Down the Line.
Police have a great deal of discretionary power when writing tickets or placing individuals under arrest. If an officer pulls your over for speeding or a similar offense, your comportment could mean the difference between a ticket and a warning. A more serious offense can result in more serious charges. It is imperative that you act respectfully if you are stopped; your behavior in your encounter with police can determine the outcome of your case—for better or worse—when you go to trial.
2. If You Are Put on Trial, There Are Multiple Defense Options.
There are many strategies for defending against the criminal charges for youthful offenders. If you are charged with an offense, but you are entirely innocent and were wrongfully arrested, your lawyer can challenge the prosecution. Your lawyer would then demonstrate to the court that it cannot prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If the authorities violated your rights in any way, your Buffalo criminal defense lawyer could have all the charges dismissed. In almost every case, there will be some chance your attorney can move the judge to reduce the charges, based on your background and the details of the case, especially if this is a first offense.
3. Yes, Texting While Driving Can Lead to Criminal Charges.
Assault, vandalism, and driving while under the influence (DWI) are all crimes that result in the filing of charges against adults and adolescents alike. However, there are many more seemingly innocuous misdemeanors that can result in charges, such as shoplifting, underage drinking, possessing a fake ID, and using a phone in any way. Charges for offenses such as these can result in fines, points on a driver’s license, and even jail time.
In today’s world of opportunity and convenience, it is easier than ever before for adolescents to take risks in order to enjoy themselves. With these risks, though, there can be significant consequences. If you or your child is charged with a misdemeanor, a violation, or even a felony, the severe penalties for some of these crimes can hinder you from learning from your mistakes. Having Buffalo criminal defense lawyer Drew Fritsch on your side can result in charges being reduced, thereby putting you in a better position to move forward. Download our youthful offender guide for immediate help.