Choosing A Pennsylvania Juvenile Defense Lawyer
Even for an adult, entering the justice system as a defendant can be terrifying, confusing, and frustrating. When a child under the age of 18 faces the justice system, these anxieties can affect the whole family, and they are often much more difficult.
When a juvenile is accused of an offense, it’s natural for a caring family to enter into a highly protective mode while they process the situation and determine their next best steps. Talking to people outside of the family about their child’s situation may be uncomfortable, and even embarrassing. Unfortunately, action must be taken immediately in order to minimize further repercussions. There may be decisions that need to be made very early in the process, and it is important to start the process by finding skilled representation immediately.
For families who are need of a knowledgeable and experienced juvenile defense lawyer in Pennsylvania, here are some of the most important things you must consider first.
What To Consider When You Are Choosing Your Defense Lawyer
Foremost, you want to work with a defense lawyer who is specifically experienced with representing juveniles. The juvenile justice system in many way appears similar to the adult criminal justice system, but it is very different. Juvenile defense comes with various unique challenges and different approaches than the defense of an adult accused of similar conduct. The juvenile may not have all of the rights that an adult would have, but the juvenile also has a number of options that are not typically available to adults. Ultimately, the standard remains the same: an accusation, no matter how serious, means nothing unless it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. You want to be sure you are working with a defense lawyer who understands the unique differences in the juvenile system, and who is qualified to fight for the best interests of your child.
Next, you want to find a defense lawyer who is confident he or she can achieve a favorable outcome for your child. Experience will play a large role in this, as well as defense style and reputation. Be sure to ask for recommendations from people you trust, as well as do your own research. Reading online reviews of a particular lawyer can yield provide helpful insight.
Finally, your defense lawyer should be someone you feel you can easily communicate with and someone you trust. Counseling, and advocating for, juveniles requires a very particular set of skills. This requires a particular sensitivity to communication, and an understanding that juveniles may need to process and relay information differently than adults. These two factors are less about the credentials of the attorney and more about the connection that both you, and your child, feel when speaking with the attorney. While it is absolutely essential that your attorney be both highly skilled and experienced, you also need to be sure you, your child, and your attorney are all on the same page.
Best Questions To Ask A Defense Lawyer
When speaking to a juvenile defense lawyer in PA, there are several important questions you want to be sure to ask. The answers to these questions will help you determine which lawyer is most qualified to represent your case and achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family. Here are some questions you should consider asking:
- How long have you been practicing defense law?
- How many juvenile defense cases have you handled?
- Have you handled a case similar to mine?
- How will you keep me both me and my child updated as to the progress being made on this case? How might the communications with me differ from the communications with my child?
- Why should I hire you as my juvenile defense attorney?
How Do I Know I have Chosen The Right Defense Lawyer
When it comes time to decide who will be the best defense lawyer for your case, you will need to weigh all the information you have collected when interviewing your options. Foremost you want to consider experience, knowledge, integrity and understanding. You should also consider with which lawyer you, and your child, felt the strongest connection. Skill and knowledge are exceptionally important, but so is feeling in sync with your lawyer and their style of defense. Your attorney should make sure that you understand what to expect from the process, make sure that your goals are aligned, and make sure that you know exactly what your options are. If a personal consultation with an attorney has not left both you and your child with a clear understanding of what to expect moving forward, it may be wise to continue looking.
Contact A Juvenile Defense Lawyer in Pennsylvania Today!
If you or a loved one are under the age of 18 have been accused of an offense, it is important to take action immediately. Among the first things you should do is to contact a juvenile defense attorney who will listen, consider the specifics of your legal matter, and provide sound legal advice as to the next steps you should take.
By contacting a defense lawyer at Colgan & Associates, you will be greeted with compassion, understanding and knowledge. We take great care to understand the unique circumstances of every juvenile defense case we represent. There is no cost and no obligation to speak to one of our experienced defense lawyers. This initial phone call will be the most important thing you do to protect yourself or a loved one from major repercussions that could result from a juvenile defense matter, if not quickly and properly handled. Contact our York office or our Mechanicsburg office today!