In working with juveniles, it is important to remind them that although they've done an act which landed them in a courtroom being charged with a crime if committed by an adult, this does not mean they cannot learn from their mistake, change their mindset and be better moving forward. At times, juveniles need assistance and supervision through the juvenile system that they might not otherwise be getting at home. Many of the juveniles I work with need to be reminded that their "bad" act does not therefore make them a "bad" person. With my clients, I focus not only on the legal matter at hand, but also on their schooling, home life and what trauma they might be experiencing. Many clients are facing underlying battles which appear in the juvenile delinquency system due to their mental health issues.
It's also important for the public to know that although it appears as if a juvenile is being charged with a "crime", in most cases, it is actually a civil matter since the juvenile is under the age of 18 at the time the "crime" was committed. As such, simply because a juvenile admits or is found by the Judge to have committed the "crime", if they are asked on a college or job application if they have ever been convicted of a crime, they can honestly answer "no" since their case fell under our civil laws and not our criminal laws. (There are exceptions to this, but for the most part, this is how the juvenile system is designed.)
I have provided public defender services in Hamilton County since approximately 2006 to juveniles charged as delinquents. I not only take public defender assignments, but also paid private cases as well. If your juvenile is in trouble, do not hesitate to reach out to me on their behalf. The costs for my services will vary depending upon the severity of the charges being alleged.
Shelley Haymaker, Attorney 124 N. 10th Street Noblesville, IN 46060 317.776.0480 firstname.lastname@example.org