Defending Alabama Teenagers and Pre-teens: Juvenile Crime is Different in Many Ways

Posted by Steven D. Eversole | Jul 16, 2009 | 0 Comments

Boys will be boys. That's more than just a quaint saying here in Alabama. It's one way of expressing the fact that youngsters have their own way of learning and growing up. People refer to “bad” kids as juvenile delinquents, losers or just plain troublemakers. Crimes, mostly property damage, theft and shoplifting, are unfortunately a part of some adolescents' learning process on the way to becoming an adult. Needless to say, many parents are distressed to see a child of theirs commit any crime, but it's important to remember, this is not the end of the world.

As a Birmingham juvenile defense attorney, I understand the way kids think and how they can become pulled into activities that would make their families cringe. I also know that not every child who commits a crime is a bad seed destined for a life of criminal activity. I can see it from the parents' perspective and realize that most young people have great potential and much to offer society in their adult lives. That's one of the reasons why I became a lawyer in the first place.

When it comes to juvenile defense, it is essential to understand that kids are always experimenting with the limits of acceptable behavior — it's a normal part of growing up, even though it can sometimes mean a brush with the law. Many of the children I have represented find themselves in a difficult family situation. Some made friends with the wrong crowd. On the whole, most of the youngsters I defend against a delinquency charge got there through a simple mistake or lack of good judgment, not because of a permanent malevolent streak.

I take juvenile defense very seriously, especially because these types of charges could affect an individual's future direction in life. A one-time mistake or curious experimentation should never be allowed to overshadow the rest of a young life or limit a child's future opportunities for success.

Most minors who get in trouble with the law in Alabama are typically charged with a delinquent act — not a crime. But charges of juvenile delinquency still can have a lasting affect on a kid's psyche, causing trouble in school and creating a poor self image. Conviction for such acts can result in a juvenile criminal record and exposure to additional bad influences. A guilty verdict can also affect future opportunities, such as qualifying for a student loan.

As an Alabama family law attorney, I handle all types of juvenile cases, from shoplifting and vandalism to drug-related and violent crimes. Regardless of the charges, I always recommend that parents seek the services of a qualified and well-experienced legal professional with a record of fighting to get the fairest, most appropriate sentence possible for young people in trouble with the law. If the case must go to adult court, you need someone who will treat your child's case with all the seriousness and energy provided to adult defendants.

About the Author

Steven D. Eversole

J.D., Samford University's Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham, Alabama B.A., University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

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