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What to do While a Juvenile Case Is Pending?

Interviewer: What are some of the things that a juvenile can do to help their case?

It Is Advisable to Retain an Attorney as a Liaison between the Juvenile and Law Enforcement

Adam: The first thing you would always recommend to a juvenile or to their parents or guardians is that they get legal representation as soon as they think that there might be a potential for some type of criminal charges.  Beyond that, they should not speak probably to a police officer or go in for any type of interview.  They should let their attorney handle that.

It Is Important to Choose Words Carefully When Being Interviewed by the Police

The attorney can explain to them the way things should be said versus, it may honestly turn out to be something harmless that if you say the wrong word, then it might be something that police officer keys in on and all of a sudden now it’s a crime where it shouldn’t be.

Deferred Adjudication

Interviewer: When they defer adjudication in a juvenile case, what is that and how does that work?

Adam: Deferred adjudication just basically means that they’re not actually going to pursue that at that point in time.  They’re going to wait and see is is what deferred means and the adjudication is the end result of whatever it should be; so they’re waiting to see what happens.

Interviewer: Is that common with juvenile cases to defer adjudication?

Adam: I haven’t seen a lot of it.  I don’t think it’s probably that common.  But it does happen.

Interviewer: That’s different from probation, right?  Does juvenile understand that?

Adam: It is different.  You’re not making a final determination.  You’re waiting to see basically on the deferred part.  At least when it comes to probation you have a final, this is what we’re going to do.

By Adam Hunt

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