New Hampshire Juvenile Crimes Lawyer

Under New Hampshire law, juvenile crimes are not prosecuted under the same system as adult crimes. Rather, juvenile crimes are handled through the New Hampshire family court system, and a different set of laws apply to juveniles as opposed to adults. Juvenile crimes are serious and affect not only the juvenile’s life, but also the lives of the juvenile’s immediate family. In the most serious of cases, such as those involving rape or murder charges, the juvenile may be tried as an adult under the New Hampshire adult criminal code.

If you or someone you love has been charged with a juvenile crime, you need experienced legal representation throughout your case. Experienced criminal lawyers are ready and willing to assist you with understanding the nature of your charges, safeguarding all of your legal rights, and formulating a defense(s) to your charges.

Difference from Adult Criminal Court

When juveniles are charged with committing a crime, they are entitled to many of the same rights and protections as adults whose cases are pending in adult criminal court. In juvenile court, as with adult criminal court, the prosecutor must prove their case “beyond a reasonable doubt” or beyond a doubt based upon ordinary reason and common sense in order to prevail at trial.

In general, juveniles are entitled to the following after being charged with committing a crime:

  • A right to a trial
  • A right to cross-examine all witnesses called by the prosecutor at trial
  • A right to remain silent at all times – including during the investigation phase of the case

In adult criminal cases, the defendant is normally entitled to a trial by jury. However, in most juvenile cases, the juvenile does not have a right to a jury trial, and a judge decides the case and makes sentencing decisions.

Possible Penalties for Criminal Convictions

In general, the penalties imposed in juvenile cases are not nearly as harsh as those imposed in adult criminal cases. Some of the more common penalties imposed in juvenile criminal cases include the following:

  • Juvenile probation
  • Mandatory counseling
  • Mandatory community service

In more serious juvenile cases, upon conviction, the juvenile may be sentenced to out-of-home placement in a juvenile detention center.

Hiring an Attorney

If you or someone you love has been charged with committing a juvenile crime, you need an experienced New Hampshire juvenile crimes lawyer on your side throughout the case. A juvenile criminal case usually begins with an initial appearance hearing where preliminary conditions are established. The case typically ends with a final adjudicatory hearing or trial. Experienced legal representation is necessary at every stage of the case.

An experienced New Hampshire juvenile crimes lawyer can also help to make sure that your legal rights are protected while your case is pending. You should feel free to contact New juvenile crimes attorneys at any time, via telephone or email, for an initial consultation.