Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you are a parent whose child is facing juvenile criminal charges, you are probably worried about your child’s future. A conviction of a juvenile crime can derail a youth’s education and life goals significantly. Common juvenile criminal charges include: using a fake ID, underage drinking, simple possession of marijuana, and being intoxicated in a public place. Juvenile defendants have the same Constitutional rights as adult defendants.

If you are facing juvenile criminal charges, contact a skilled lawyer as soon as possible. The lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC have the experience necessary to assertively represent juvenile defendants in court. Contact our lawyers as soon as possible to schedule your free, initial consultation.

The Rights of Juvenile Defendants in North Carolina

Even though juveniles often go to separate facilities, law enforcement officers still have a duty to read them their Miranda rights. Under North Carolina, juvenile defendants, as with other defendants, have Miranda rights. Law enforcement officers must tell the defendant the following:

  • They have the right to remain silent
  • Anything they say or do can be used against them in the court of law
  • They have the right to a defense attorney
  • If they cannot afford a defense attorney, the state will provide one for them

In addition to the Miranda rights read to adults, juveniles must also be informed by law enforcement that they have the right to a parent being present. When a juvenile is taken into custody, he or she should remain silent until an attorney is in the room. Law enforcement officers occasionally use scare tactics to pressure juveniles into talking about a crime or admitting guilt, even when they are innocent. The police should contact the parents of a minor soon after the arrest. Juveniles have the right to a defense lawyer at any point in the criminal process.

Provisional DWI and Underage Drinking as a Juvenile

One of the most commonly charged juvenile crimes is underage drinking and provisional DWI. Even though underage drinking is popular and somewhat common among those under the age of 21, doing so is still illegal in North Carolina. If a defendant is under the age of 21 and police discover that he or she purchased, possessed, or consumed alcohol, he or she will face misdemeanor charges.

When an underage defendant has alcohol in his or her system while driving, the defendant will face charges for driving while under the influence (DWI). Even when an underage driver only has .01% blood alcohol content (BAC), he or she still violates North Carolina’s DWI laws. If you are facing DWI charges as a juvenile, it is essential that you contact a Charlotte juvenile DWI lawyer as soon as possible to secure legal representation.

Fraudulent Identification or Fake ID Charges for Juveniles

Using a fraudulent identification or false ID is illegal in North Carolina. Fake IDs can include all of the following:

  • “Novelty” driver’s license bought from a private vendor
  • A doctored version of someone else’s real driver’s license
  • A duplicate copy of a relative’s driver’s license
  • A driver’s license issued by the DMV with an underage person’s picture and older person’s birth date, address, and name

North Carolina law makes the use of fraudulent identification a Class 1 misdemeanor when the defendant used the ID to do any of the following:

  • Attempt to enter or enter a place where alcohol is consumed or sold
  • Obtain or try to obtain alcoholic beverages, or
  • Obtain or attempt to obtain permission to purchase alcoholic beverages

Displaying a fake or doctored driver’s license is a Class 2 misdemeanor in North Carolina. In addition to facing criminal charges, the North Carolina DMV can suspend a driver’s license for up to a year after a defendant faces a criminal conviction for this offense. Selling a fake driver’s license is an even more serious crime, a Class I felony.

Vandalism, Injury to Property, and Trespassing in North Carolina

Vandalism is another commonly charged crime for juveniles. Defacing, damaging, marking, or destroying another person’s property is a crime in North Carolina. The exact criminal charge depends on the damaged property and the alleged actions of the defendant. Juveniles can also face criminal trespassing charges, which are usually misdemeanor charges.

Our Charlotte Juvenile Defense Lawyers Can Help

If you are a young adult or teenager and you are facing criminal charges, our criminal defense law firm can help. Call our lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 to evaluate your options or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and Monroe.