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Juvenile Criminal Defense   4.30.2024

Consequences of Juvenile Offenses in Wisconsin: A Guide for Parents

Every parent worries about their child's well-being. When your child makes a mistake, especially one that involves the law, it can be a stressful and confusing time. Understanding the juvenile justice system in Wisconsin and the potential consequences of your child's actions is crucial.  Olmr Law Office is here to help.

Wisconsin, like most states, has a separate court system for anyone under 17 years old, focusing on rehabilitation rather than punishment. However, there can still be serious consequences for juvenile offenses, and it is important to be prepared.

Understanding Juvenile Delinquency

In Wisconsin, when a minor commits an act that would be considered a crime if committed by an adult, it's called delinquency. This does not automatically mean your child will face adult criminal charges. The juvenile court system prioritizes rehabilitation and keeping your child on the right track.

Types of Offenses

Juvenile offenses can range from minor, such as truancy or underage drinking, to more serious crimes like theft, assault, or vandalism. As with any other kind of criminal charges, the severity of the offense will significantly impact the potential consequences.

Informal Adjustments

For minor offenses, the court might handle the situation informally. This could involve probation, community service, or counseling.

Formal Adjudication

For more serious offenses, a formal court hearing might be necessary. If the court finds your child delinquent, they could face:

  • Probation
  • Fines
  • Loss of Driving Privileges
  • Detention
  • Institutional Placement

Parental Responsibility

Wisconsin law holds parents partially responsible for their child's delinquent acts. This means you could be held financially liable for damages caused by your child, up to $10,000 in some cases.

What You Can Do

Are you wondering what you can do to help your child in this difficult situation? Don’t worry; you are not alone. Teenage years with raging hormones and learning how to communicate their feelings in a productive way, are difficult even for the best of us. So how can you help them get through this time? 

The best thing you can do is to simply talk to your child openly about the situation. It is okay to express your disappointment honestly but also offer support and guidance. In this difficult time, it might be instincts to come down hard on them but making sure your child knows they have a support system is crucial. Work with your child to address the root causes of their behavior. Consider counseling or mentoring programs that can help them make positive choices.

Seek Legal Counsel

An experienced juvenile defense attorney can be invaluable. They can advise you on your rights and options, represent your child in court, and work to achieve the best possible outcome. Olmr Law Office has extensive experience navigating the juvenile justice system and can advocate for your child.

What Comes Next?

Even if the court does not impose harsh penalties, a juvenile record can have long-lasting effects. Most importantly, a delinquency record could make it difficult for your child to gain admission to certain schools. Colleges or universities, particularly competitive programs, often remove those with criminal records without considering their academic or extracurricular qualifications.

Further, they might also struggle to find a job as they move forward in life. Background checks for jobs often include juvenile records. This may not always disqualify them from a job, but there are many opportunities that they will miss out on with a criminal record. 

It is important to remember that a juvenile offense doesn't define your child's future. The Wisconsin juvenile justice system allows for opportunities for rehabilitation. By working with your child and seeking legal guidance, you can help them overcome this hurdle and get back on track.

When Is It Time to Consult an Attorney

But how do you know when it is time to consult legal counsel in a juvenile criminal case? The simple answer is, the sooner, the better.  If the charges against your child seem serious, they could face significant consequences like detention or institutional placement. In these cases, having an experienced juvenile defense attorney by your side is crucial.  

An attorney can represent your child in court, fight for a fair outcome, and protect their rights throughout the legal process. Do not hesitate to seek legal counsel if you feel overwhelmed or unsure of how to proceed.

Olmr Law Office is Here to Help

At Olmr Law Office, we understand the complexities of the juvenile justice system and the emotional turmoil parents face in such situations. Our experienced attorneys are dedicated to protecting your child's rights and future. We can guide you through the process, explore options, and fight for a positive outcome.

Contact Olmr Law Office today for a consultation. Together, we can help your child navigate this challenging time and move towards a brighter future.

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute client relationship.
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