Youths under the age of 18 have not yet developed the skills necessary to navigate adult life. Unfortunately, this often means that juveniles run the risk of making poor decisions that could land them in legal trouble. In some cases, kids can get out of this trouble with nothing more than a firm (yet frightening) slap on the wrist. Other times, however, an arrest on juvenile crimes could lead to incarceration without a proper defense.

We have heard many people insist that juveniles require punishment for their criminal actions. As defense attorneys, we do not necessarily disagree with this statement. After all, holding offenders responsible for their actions can teach them that there are always consequences for unwanted behaviors. However, we also believe that most juvenile crimes require an approach other than incarceration.

Jailing young offenders comes with many long-term consequences that lawmakers could not have foreseen. Research conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) supports this conclusion. One of the study’s findings shows that youths who suffer incarceration typically do not complete their education. Another issue uncovered in the study revealed that juveniles who faced jail time for their actions often returned to jail as an adult.

Like many of you, we are also parents, and we want to help our children transition from youths to adults as smoothly as possible. As such, we are not suggesting that juvenile crimes should always go unpunished. Rather, we support alternative methods of intervention such as diversion programs, community service and other options.

In summary, acting quickly to defend youths following a juvenile arrest is critical in protecting them from the consequences of unnecessary incarceration. Please read more about these and other important juvenile issues by continuing to browse our website.