Juvenile Defense Lawyers
Experienced St. Charles Area Juvenile Lawyers
Has your child been arrested?
If your child has been arrested, we encourage you to immediately contact our experienced juvenile criminal attorneys at The Lampin Law Firm. The sooner you speak to us, the sooner we can get to work protecting your child.
We believe that a mistake made by your child now should not haunt them for the rest of their lives.
Experienced and Compassionate Attorneys Helping Kids in the Juvenile and Criminal Justice Systems
Children’s criminal cases are handled differently than those of adults in the state of Missouri. The criminal courts have long recognized that children’s developing minds are not able to comprehend their actions and understand consequences in the same manner as an adult’s mature brain. Juvenile offenders, therefore, warrant a unique approach focused on rehabilitation. With compassion for the children accused of crimes, The Lampin Law Firm zealously represents them in the juvenile justice system.
Our Juvenile defense lawyers will vigorously defend your child. Our goal is to:
- Keep your child’s record clean
- Mitigate punishment
- Work to find solutions for your child now and in the future
Juvenile Law in Missouri
A juvenile is guaranteed by the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution and by the United States Supreme Court Decision of In re Gault, to be represented by an attorney in juvenile court. In Missouri, juveniles are entitled to counsel at all stages of the proceedings, including in-custody interrogation, detention hearings, adjudications, motions to modify, and certification hearings.
Despite the existence of juvenile courts, many youths are still tried as adults. Missouri has two ways that juveniles can be prosecuted as adults:
- Discretionary waiver: Juvenile court may order a transfer hearing for youth twelve and older, on any party’s (or its own) motion, for any felony offense. For statutorily-delineated violent offenses, the court must hold a transfer hearing.
- If the child has been previously certified and prosecuted as an adult, he will from then on always be under adult court jurisdiction.
The age of a child who comes within the jurisdiction of the state’s juvenile courts is defined by state law. In Missouri: no statute specifies the youngest age at which a juvenile can be adjudicated, delinquent. The Juvenile court has jurisdiction over a child whose crime occurs prior to the child’s 17th birthday. The juvenile court can retain jurisdiction over the child until the age of 21, provided that the offense has been alleged to have been committed before the child turned 17.
It is crucial for your child to have competent legal representation from the time the juvenile is notified to meet with a Deputy Juvenile Officer when the child is taken into custody and throughout the proceedings. This is particularly true for a meeting with a Deputy Juvenile Officer or at a hearing in Juvenile court.
Juvenile records are confidential in most cases. However, they are always available to law enforcement and other government agencies. It is essential to obtain reliable and high-quality legal advice from an experienced lawyer who regularly appears in Juvenile court before you meet with a Deputy Juvenile Officer or appear with your child in court.
With so much at stake, you need a criminal defense attorney who understands the complexities of representing a juvenile and who will fight for their rights.
The experienced juvenile lawyers at The Lampin Law Firm have represented many juvenile offenders over the years and we understand the importance of not letting a mistake made by an adolescent affect them for the rest of their lives.