Defending juveniles under age 18

In the state of Ohio, persons under the age of 18 at the time of a criminal offense are considered juveniles and are treated differently from adult offenders. Across the U.S., a standardized criminal justice system deals with adults.

However, each state has its own juvenile justice system. Unlike the criminal justice system, which punishes perpetrators, the juvenile justice system seeks to rehabilitate.

Ohio’s Juvenile Justice System

Ohio’s juvenile justice system is a Home Rule system, which allows cities and counties throughout the state to function with a great deal of autonomy. Most juvenile justice services are provided by local government and vary from location to location. Robbery, assaults and drug abuse are the top crimes Ohio youth commit, followed by vandalism and burglary. The courts, police, youth advocacy and community organizations work together to make a difference in the lives of juveniles who need help.

Parents and family are often confused about the rights of juveniles in a court of law. Juveniles have some of the same constitutional rights as adults, including the right to an attorney, Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination, and the right to confront and cross-examine their accusers. A judge hears juvenile cases, however, as a juvenile does not have the right to a trial by jury. In severe cases of violent crime, a juvenile may be tried as an adult in the criminal justice system. However, Ohio allows juvenile records to be expunged upon proper application and approval.

Contact a Juvenile Offense Attorney in Columbus today

When a juvenile in your family gets in trouble with the law, we know the stress you’re under. Call our law firm at 614-224-6142 to arrange an appointment. One of our Ohio criminal defense attorneys will explain the charges the juvenile is facing and help you understand the legal options available.

Meet your Trial Defense Team

Should your case require a trial, our vast network of experts are just a call away. From DNA specialists to Polygraph professionals, we routinely partner with the best to reach optimal outcomes. They’re our Trial Defense Team, and they’re here to support our attorneys in crafting the best defense for your case.