Law Offices of Christie A. Leary P.C.

Fairfax/Manassas Criminal & Personal Injury Blog

When vandalism is more than just a prank

As a previous post discussed, vandalism could result in serious criminal charges. While most youth view these acts as a prank or a minor offense, this criminal act could tremendously impact the life and future of a juvenile offender. Thus, it is important that a vandalism charge is not taken lightly. There are opportunities to initiate a criminal defense and strategize to reduce or dismiss the charges against an accused offender.

Understanding the elements of vandalism

While a crime might appear minor or simple, if it results in harms or damages, it is still a situation that could result in a criminal offense. With regards to juvenile crimes, many view these as annoyances rather than hard crimes. However, when juveniles continually commit these crimes, these offenses could carry with them harsh penalties. This is not only used to deter these young individuals from committing these crimes but also to penalize those that continually do not follow the rules.

Understanding the Juvenile Probation Department in Virginia

When a juvenile is charged with a crime in Virginia, the Juvenile Probation Department (also known as a court service unit) will be involved of the juvenile's case from beginning to end. Therefore, it is helpful for juveniles charged with a crime to understand the role of the court service unit in their case.

Transferring a case from the juvenile law system to adult court

Juveniles in Virginia who are charged with criminal offenses must be aware of the possibility of the case being certified and transferred from juvenile court to circuit court and being tried as an adult. If the juvenile is 14 or older and has been accused of committing a felony, this could occur. With the certification to circuit court, certain felonies fit the requirement for a judge to make the decision on a transfer.

The juvenile law system and driving privileges

For Virginia teens, driving is a new experience and rite of approaching adulthood. It is also a responsibility that requires the adherence of applicable laws to juveniles with accompanying penalties under the juvenile law system if they are violated. Juvenile delinquents can face numerous penalties such as license suspension or a curfew as to the hours they can drive. With alcohol, drug or firearm offenses, the driving privileges can be revoked.

Two teens face accusations of murder and other gun-related acts

There is a difference between the juvenile law system and the adult law system in Virginia and other states in the country. While many juvenile crimes might seem to be mischievous and not do any significant harm to anyone, there are times when a juvenile might face accusations of having committed certain acts that carry with them harsh punishments regardless of their age-based status. Anyone who is charged with a juvenile criminal offense must make certain that they understand the law and make plans to craft a strong defense from the time of the investigation onward.

What happens when a juvenile commits a felony in Virginia?

When a Virginia juvenile aged 14 or older is convicted of an offense that would be a felony if committed by an adult, he or she can be committed to a juvenile correctional facility in certain circumstances. The juvenile can be committed if he or she committed the offense while on parole for an offense that would have been a felony had an adult committed it.

Understanding stalking and its penalties in Virginia

As Virginia teens mature, they will get into relationships or seek to get into relationships with others. Given their age and that there can be a frequent misunderstanding as to what is appropriate and legal when embarking on these relationships, there can be a blurring of the line as to what they can and cannot do according to the law. One aspect is stalking. Understanding what stalking is and the potential long-term consequences for it is important to those who are facing accusations of taking part in it.

What are the potential penalties for vandalism in Virginia?

Teens in Virginia might occasionally get caught up in certain behaviors or be confronted with allegations that they they did not believe were especially harmful nor against the law. One example is vandalizing property. The laws of the state make clear that the act of vandalizing public buildings and materials in libraries and schools is illegal and that anyone who is accused of doing it will be subjected to arrest and various penalties. Those who are facing this type of criminal charge need to be aware that they will not only face legal issues, but the long-term consequences if they are convicted.

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