The juvenile court system is designed to help children when they get into trouble. But it can also be a stressful time for families, so it’s important to retain a Fort Worth juvenile criminal defense lawyer to help.
Partner and Board Certified lawyer Colin McLaughlin handles our juvenile cases. He has extensive experience in the juvenile system and has helped numerous families get their child’s case dropped. It is important to know your child’s background the all the details surrounding a potential charge. This helps us advocate for your child in court because we’ll have a better understanding of your child’s situation. Feel free to ask your Fort Worth juvenile criminal defense lawyer at Hoeller McLaughlin PLLC questions about court procedure and case law so you feel more comfortable with any hearing or trial that takes place (if it gets to that phase).
The Role of Family in the Fort Worth Juvenile Criminal Defense System
Families and defense lawyers both play important roles in a juvenile case. The attorney represents the child. When working together with the family, everyone can work toward getting the best outcome for the juvenile.
In fact, parents, guardians, and other family members are key to helping a juvenile get through their case. They are the ones who know their children best and can share their concerns about their children with their lawyers.
Families can help ensure that their children:
- Make all of their court appearances;
- Show up on time to meetings with probation officers or counselors;
- Complete any assigned tasks like community service or counseling ;
- Return home safely after visits out of custody.
Parents or guardians can also help their children by making sure they understand what is expected of them during a case and by giving clear limits on what they expect from their children while they are in custody. It is also important for parents or guardians to encourage good behavior while the child is out on bail.
We Leave No Stone Unturned in Defending Your Child
No one expects their kid to get in trouble with the law, but it happens. When it does, the first question people ask is what a juvenile criminal defense lawyer will do to get their child out of this situation as safely as possible.
First, your lawyer will ask for a copy of the police reports. We’ll request to see any evidence against your child and assess the different options and strategies best to address the case.
Next, we’ll ask your child about their experience leading up to the incident. Depending on how young they are, this could be their first time interacting with the criminal justice system, so they may not understand how their behavior led them here.
Your lawyer will need to know what happened so we can go over the details and help the child understand how it is that they got into trouble in the first place.
Then, your juvenile defense attorney will work with you and your child to build a strong case that supports their innocence or provides mitigation for any charges that might stick. This could mean asking for:
- Eye Witnesses
- Character witnesses
- Video surveillance or Photos
- Text Messages or Social Media Accounts
- Any other evidence to support your case
Finally, if needed, your juvenile criminal defense lawyer will prepare witnesses and arguments for trial and formulate an effective defense strategy.
Getting Charges Reduced or Entirely Dismissed | Pre-Trial Diversion Programs
One of the first things we may do for your child is negotiate with prosecutors or law enforcement on your behalf. This can be especially important if any potential criminal charges have not yet been filed against your son or daughter. Depending on the circumstances, the attorney may be able to get the prosecutor to reduce or even dismiss the charges altogether. There is also options for pre-trial diversion that can help get the charges the dropped. The ultimate goal is to get an outcome that is going to be sealed and dismissed and won’t stay with them for the remainder of their childhood or even into their adulthood.
Even if the case is not dropped beforehand, it’s still important to continue to fight for the best outcome. Even a juvenile adjudication can ultimately be sealed, which is why it’s important to have the right lawyer helping you out.
Reach Out for a Free Consultation with a Fort Worth Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer
If your child has been charged with a crime, it’s time to contact us. By working together, we can put your child on a positive path that may follow them well after their charges have been resolved.
While the legal system can be confusing and overwhelming, a Fort Worth juvenile criminal defense lawyer will work to minimize whatever consequences your child has to face in court. Contact Hoeller McLaughlin PLLC through our convenient form below or call 817-334-7900 to find out more.