La Plata & Waldorf Juvenile Defense Lawyer
The La Plata criminal defense law practice at the Law Office of Hammad S. Matin, P.A. includes representation of minors charged with juvenile offenses, including drugs, theft, assault, burglary and robbery in Charles County. The criminal defense of minors involves special issues particular to youths, including whether the minor will be tried as an adult and whether the court records may be sealed. If you or your son or daughter has been charged with a juvenile or criminal offense in Charles County, contact a La Plata & Waldorf juvenile defense lawyer.
Minors Tried as Adults
Minors as young as 14 are required to be tried in adult court for certain violent crimes or weapons violations. For any offense charged against a minor 15 years old or older, the juvenile court has the authority to transfer the case to adult court. Likewise, even where the law says a minor must be tried as an adult, the criminal court may decide to transfer the case to juvenile court under certain circumstances. Whenever possible, our office will fight to keep or transfer cases involving juveniles in juvenile court.
Sealing Court Records
Even a small offense can have long-lasting effects on an individual, destroying chances at certain educational opportunities, a military career, or certain employment opportunities. Although juvenile records may not be expunged, it is possible to have them sealed by the court. In the case of a juvenile tried as an adult who is able to have the case transferred to juvenile court, the records from the original adult court proceeding may be expunged under certain circumstances.
Juvenile Drug Offenses
Charles County operates a Juvenile Drug Court. The drug court is a voluntary program for youth who qualify. It is a post-adjudication model, meaning that offenders who enter the program are adjudicated but not sentenced. Being adjudicated in juvenile drug court means that you will enter a drug treatment program rather than juvenile detention or other forms of punishment. The treatment program may last a year or more until completion.
Juvenile drug court is an option for Charles County residents aged 14 to 17 with an identified substance abuse issue, which may include alcohol, street drugs such as marijuana, or prescription drugs like Oxycontin. Youths must be charged with a nonviolent felony offense and not have any history of violent offenses, drug trafficking, involvement in prior drug-related felonies, or prior probation violation or delinquency petition. A commitment of family members to the program is also required.
In addition to the eligibility criteria and limited space available, there are many reasons that can disqualify a youth for juvenile drug court. Where drug court is the best option for our clients, we fight hard to ensure that they are able to participate.
An Experienced La Plata & Waldorf Juvenile Defense Lawyer
Firm founder and principal attorney Hammad S. Matin spent two years as the lead prosecutor in juvenile offenses in Charles County. An experienced La Plata & Waldorf juvenile defense lawyer who knows how to successfully fight criminal charges, Mr. Matin is also sensitive to the special issues involving minors and juvenile offenses. If you or your son or daughter has been charged with a juvenile or criminal offense in Charles County, contact the Law Office of Hammad S. Matin, P.A.