Law Offices of Christie A. Leary P.C.
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Is cyberbullying a crime in Virginia?

Young people nowadays use social media as a way to communicate with their peers and share information. However, some teens in Virginia take things too far by using websites and apps like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, to engage in cyberbullying. Cyberbullying may involve sending threats online or posting hostile or vulgar messages directed at another person with the intent to hurt them. Teens may even post others' private information or inappropriate, Photoshopped images of another person to embarrass them in front of their peers.

Assistance in navigating juvenile crimes

A large part of being young is making mistakes. While many of these errors don't result in major punishment or consequence, some unfortunately involve more serious events. Even for many of these mistakes, however it's important to recognize that every young person deserves the opportunity for a second chance. That second chance may only come with proper representation.

When do juveniles get prosecuted as adults in Virginia?

If you are accused of a crime as a juvenile in Virginia, you may be tried as a juvenile or adult. If a juvenile is tried and convicted as an adult, they could face the same consequences as someone over the age of 18, even if they are still a minor.

Teen facing felony charges after violent 'hoax' in Virginia

Social media has become a main part of teenagers' lives, especially with the popularity of photo-share apps like Snapchat. However, when a teen uses these apps to make threats or encourage violence towards others, they may face criminal charges. A Virginia teen recently was taken into custody for a hoax involving school violence at a Virginia high school.

Assistance in navigating drug charges

Children and teenagers facing criminal charges have a lot at stake. With their whole futures ahead of them, a juvenile criminal offense can have a major impact on their lives for years to come. A 17-year-old boy was charged with attempted capital murder of a police officer after an altercation in Virginia Beach.

How does the juvenile court system work?

When a minor is charged with a crime, they will likely go through a different court process from what an adult would for the same crime. According to the law, the juvenile court system generally covers children between the ages of 7 and 18. If a minor under the age of 7 commits a crime, they typically cannot be tried in any court, but their parents may be liable. Being under 18 is not a guarantee that one will be tried in juvenile court. In some cases, particularly those involving homicide, rape, and other severe crimes, teenagers may be tried as adults.

The differences between the juvenile and adult criminal systems

When youth in Virginia and elsewhere find themselves in trouble, they many think that they will get off easily. Although juvenile offenders face less harsh penalties when compared to their adult counterparts, this does not keep the minor entirely free from facing serious consequences. Even though a juvenile may enter the legal system through juvenile court, it is possible for a juvenile to be charged as an adult and continue through the adult system.

Helping you navigate the juvenile defense process

When we hear about criminal offenders, we don't think that could be us and we certainly do not think it could be our own sons or daughters. However, numerous juveniles in Virginia and other states across the nation are accused of minor and major offenses every year. This not only requires the juvenile's parent or guardian to consider what to do regarding a defense, but it also means that a juvenile's life and future could be greatly impacted by these allegations.

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.

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