Franklin Juvenile Offenses Attorney
The juvenile justice system in Tennessee has features in common with the criminal justice system, with important differences. One major distinction is the focus on rehabilitation in the juvenile system as opposed to punishment. This is good news for juvenile offenders, so long as they can keep their case in the juvenile system and stay out of adult criminal court. The Franklin juvenile offense attorneys at Fort, Holloway, & Rogers include experienced and successful criminal defense lawyers and former prosecutors, as well as a former Juvenile Court Magistrate in Williamson County. If your child has come into contact with the juvenile or adult court system, or if you as parents are facing charges of abuse or neglect, call Fort, Holloway & Rogers, LLC, for an honest assessment of your situation and strategic advice to help you resolve the matter with a positive outcome.
Juvenile Delinquency in Tennessee
Juvenile courts in Tennessee are courts of limited jurisdiction. They have concurrent jurisdiction with other courts in matters involving child custody, child support & visitation where the parents are unmarried. Their jurisdiction is exclusive, on the other hand, when it comes to matters of dependency and neglect and juvenile delinquency.
Juvenile offenses fall into one of two categories: status offenses and delinquent offenses. Status offenses are juvenile offenses solely because of the individual’s status as a juvenile. These offenses include matters such as truancy, possession of cigarettes, or running away from home. Individuals adjudicated as delinquent for status offenses are usually given probation.
More serious are delinquent offenses. These offenses include matters that would be charged as crimes if they were committed by an adult. Delinquent offenses can be misdemeanors or felonies and include anything from vandalism, shoplifting and carrying a fake ID to drug trafficking, robbery and sexual assault.
Juveniles charged with delinquent offenses can face serious consequences, including juvenile detention in a secure facility. Even worse, the judge has the discretion to waive the court’s jurisdiction and transfer the case to criminal court, where the individual gets tried (and sentenced if convicted) as an adult. Tennessee does not have a minimum age for transferring a juvenile, and once a juvenile is charged as an adult, they will continue to be charged as an adult for any subsequent offense they get charged with as a minor.
Before the juvenile court judge can transfer your child’s case to criminal court, you have the right to a hearing on the matter. The juvenile law attorneys at Fort, Holloway, & Rogers can represent your child at this hearing as well as provide advice and representation in juvenile court or criminal court, fighting to get the best outcome possible, whatever the situation.
Franklin Juvenile Dependency Attorneys
If a child’s parents wind up in jail, hooked on drugs, or debilitated with mental health issues, the state might find that the child is being neglected. The Department of Children’s Services (DCS) has broad authority to remove a child from the home based on allegations of neglect and place the child in DCS custody or foster care. This move can begin a long fight for the parents to reunite with their children and reunify the family while the state tries to permanently terminate their parental rights. A child can also end up in DCS custody for violating probation for a juvenile delinquency offense.
Juvenile courts hold two separate hearings in these matters, one to adjudicate the child as dependent and another to decide the child’s disposition. Parents, you have the right to an attorney at both of these proceedings. The juvenile law attorneys at Fort, Holloway, & Rogers can represent you at these hearings and be with you at every step of the dependency process, including investigation, substantiation, notification, request for formal review, request for reconsideration, appeal to the commissioner, and judicial review. Being found guilty of child abuse or neglect can land you on the child abuse registry for an indefinite period; make sure you receive practical legal advice and strong representation from experienced and successful juvenile law attorneys.
Our Franklin Juvenile Law Attorneys Are Here for You When You Need Us
For help with juvenile law matters in Williamson County, including juvenile delinquency and dependency, call Fort, Holloway, & Rogers at 615-791-7575 to discuss your case with a skilled and knowledgeable Franklin Juvenile law attorney.