Trying to hire a criminal attorney is a difficult task, but trying to find a knowledgeable, professional, and understanding juvenile attorney can be even more difficult. Here is a guide to help that difficult process and I have included tips and things to look for and ask a perspective attorney when looking for representation on a juvenile case.
When beginning a search for a Juvenile attorney, make sure that you understand not all criminal attorneys handle juvenile cases. The Statutes are different, the court proceedings are different, and the outcomes to the cases can vary greatly from those charged with adult offenses. A lot of times, the juvenile detention center is not located at the main court complex.
Finding an Attorney
Make sure that when you begin your search, it is crucial to find someone who has practiced in the area of Juvenile Law. Do not just take an attorney’s word, DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Make sure they know the Juvenile judges, the prosecutors, etc. This can be done by reviewing their website and seeing if they practice juvenile law. You can even call the local bar association and ask about juvenile attorneys. Maybe they were a former juvenile prosecutor or public defender. These would be the most ideal, as they would know the law through and through. Make sure that the attorney can tell you about the juvenile process. They should be able to smoothly and completely tell you about how the criminal process works in relation to juvenile cases and how it is different from the adult process.
Selecting an Attorney
Now you have come to the point where you want to call an attorney and set up a consultation to discuss the minor’s case. The most important thing to do when actually hiring an attorney is to make sure they have the experience to handle a juvenile case. Again, the first step is to look at their website. One major resource to use is the reviews of the attorney. Before clicking on the website there will be a link to past clients who have used the same attorney and left a review. These reviews will be a window into how the attorney interacts with his clients and how the clients feel about their results. Read the Reviews! These are all ways to make sure you are selecting the best representative for your loved one.
Remember, anyone can say that they handle juvenile cases, but not everyone actually does.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from McCollum Hodgkinson, P.C., for their insight into criminal law.