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Juvenile Offenses

When a minor is accused of a criminal offense, their entire future is on the line. A mark on the criminal history of a juvenile can interfere with important educational and employment opportunities. Those attending college may find their scholarships or admittance threatened by a criminal offense.

A lawyer can be especially essential for allegations against a juvenile accused of a crime in juvenile court. With your future on the line, you need to ensure that you have a lawyer on your side that will tirelessly fight for a positive resolution for you.

Lawyer for Juvenile Offenses in Des Moines, Iowa

The lawyers of McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. have nearly 50 years of combined experience representing minors and adults across Polk County and Dallas County. We know that a minor, their future can be threatened by even the simplest of criminal offenses. We are determined to proactively pursue positive resolutions for every client, even in tough situations.  We can take on your criminal charges and fight to protect the future of you or your loved ones.

Contact McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. today to schedule your free consultation. Let us review your individual situation and help you understand the options available to you. We can give you confidence in how to proceed and guide you through the overwhelming criminal defense process ahead of you.

Call (515) 279-9700 today.

Common Juvenile Offense Situations in Iowa

While a minor can be charged with almost any offense, some charges occur more frequently, including:

  • Possession of alcohol by a minor
  • Possession of drugs
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Battery
  • Assault
  • Retail Theft
  • Trespass
  • Burglary
  • Sexually motivated crimes on younger children

Although the potential penalties that juveniles face are often less severe, they can still face jail time and fines, depending on the offense. What is more often a major issue is the mark that they can receive on their criminal history, which can drastically impact educational and employment opportunities.

An experienced lawyer may be able to fight on your behalf to have your charges sealed or expunged, in order to keep an offense from threatening your future.

Age Limits in Iowa’s Juvenile Court Defined by Statute

Juvenile courts in Iowa have jurisdiction over offenses alleged to have been committed prior to a child’s 18th birthday as explained in Iowa Code § 232.2(5). After that, the juvenile court can retain jurisdiction over the child until six month after his 19th birthday, if the offense actually occurred before the child’s 18th birthday. In some cases, the juvenile court may provide follow-up services until the child is 21 years old.

For any offense committed after the person’s 18th birthday, the person can only be charged in adult court.

In Iowa, no statute sets the youngest age at which a juvenile can be adjudicated delinquent. However, as a practical matter child under the age of 10 are almost never competent to stand trial in juvenile court.

The Impact of a Criminal Charge on a High School Student

During the years of attending high school, students can be charged with a wide range of offenses, the most common of which involve alcohol or drugs. When a student is arrested on a criminal charge, they will not only face criminal proceedings, but also a separate disciplinary hearing at their high school. This hearing will

The results of the disciplinary hearing can lead to suspension, expulsion, or a change or placement from their current school, seriously damaging any future educational prospects. While an attorney can accompany you to the disciplinary hearing and help you defend yourself.

An attorney can help you gather evidence, properly complete the necessary paperwork, and form the strongest defensive case possible.

Hiring a Lawyer to Defend a Child in Juvenile Court in Des Moines, Iowa

Special rules and laws apply to juveniles in many criminal law scenarios. This makes the nearly 50 years of combined experienced shared by attorneys at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. an invaluable asset while facing charges. We can fight on your behalf to keep a criminal allegation from threatening your future for years to come.

Let us take on your challenging situation and reduce your stress through the confusing process ahead of you. Call us today at (515) 279-9700 to schedule your free consultation.