In Virginia, an issue that occurs in a school could potentially end up in the juvenile justice system. According to data released by the state of Virginia, approximately 40 percent of all disorderly conduct complaints filed against juveniles were filed by teachers, public safety officers, or other school officials.
Increasingly, disciplinary matters that used to be resolved with a ‘slap on the wrist’ are ending up in the court system. If your child’s case is being referred to Virginia’s juvenile justice system after an incident that occurred at school or after school, it is imperative that you speak to an experienced Fairfax juvenile defense attorney immediately.
More and More Juvenile Issues are Ending Up in the Court
As explained by the Virginia Office of the Attorney General, the term delinquent is used to refer to a juvenile who committed an act that would have been criminally charged if they were an adult. In recent years, there have been serious concerns raised about the number of disciplinary issues that occur in schools that are being handled by Virginia’s juvenile justice system. These cases can involve everything from serious physical altercations with adults or with other students to seemingly minor issues such as a student kicking a trash can in frustration. If your student has been referred to the Virginia juvenile justice system for an incident that occurred in school or after school, you should speak to an attorney. School-based misconduct could lead to juvenile detention, and potentially even a student ending up with a permanent criminal record.
How to Protect Your Child From Ending up With a Record
One of the key things that separate juvenile justice from adult corrections is that rehabilitation is strongly favored for youthful offenders. A minor mistake made by a teenager should not follow them around for the rest of their lives. As a general rule, Virginia law allows juvenile misdemeanors to be sealed five years after the offense occurs. If your child commits a misdemeanor violation, they have a path to get a clean record.
Unfortunately, that is not true with felony offenses. For felony offenses committed after a child’s 14th birthday, they may end up with a permanent criminal record. As a parent or guardian, it is crucial that you do whatever you can to protect your child from felony charges. In some cases, teenagers are charged with felonies when a misdemeanor may have been far more reasonable and appropriate. Our Fairfax juvenile defense attorneys fight tirelessly to protect the rights and the future of our clients.
Speak to Our Virginia Juvenile Defense Lawyer Today
At Leary Law, our compassionate criminal defense attorneys have extensive experience handling a wide range of juvenile justice cases. If your child was charged with a juvenile offense for an issue arising at school or after school, we are here to help. To set up a fully confidential consultation, please contact us today. We have offices in Fairfax and Manassas and we serve communities throughout Northern Virginia.