If you are the concerned parent of a juvenile who finds him or herself in trouble with the law, it can be a scary and stressful situation.
What was once considered a normal part of growing up for kids and teenagers is now thought of as a serious crime. Physical altercations, roughhousing, fist fights, even threats or any behavior that could be construed as bullying can result in lasting consequences for your child.
The definition of simple assault doesn’t have to include physical injury to the other person. Your juvenile may be facing criminal charges for a range of behaviors including:
- Injury to another person.
- Threatening injury to another person – as long as the person believes you can carry out the threat.
- Nonverbal threatening, such as brandishing a weapon or a fist.
- Attempting to cause injury: lashing out with a weapon, a fist or a kick even if no damage is caused.
A simple assault charge does not have to cause serious injury, or any injury at all, to be considered assault. If a serious injury does occur to another person in the course of a fight or an altercation, your child could be facing more serious charges and potentially more severe consequences.
Potential Penalties for Your Child’s Assault Charges
A simple assault charge is considered a misdemeanor. An aggravated assault charge can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.
To tell the difference, prosecutors must prove that your child intended to do great bodily harm – to do more than scare the other person. The potential penalties for a misdemeanor assault conviction are:
- Jail time, which could be served in a juvenile or an adult facility. Teenagers under 18 are not entitled to a jury trial unless a judge decides to try him or her as an adult.
- Restitution to the victim for any medical bills, expenses or lost work time
- Addiction rehab treatment
- Anger Management classes
- Community Service
Juvenile Court Cases Are Different in Michigan
Many cases involving juveniles under 18 are handled informally by the court system. This means that:
- Your child may not have formal charges filed against him or her, but instead appear before a judge and ordered to a rehabilitative sentence. However, it also means that,
- Your child won’t have the same rights as an adult in a trial. The state won’t have a burden of proof to meet or a jury to decide the case for your child. Unless your child is facing prison time, a judge will base his or her decision on how likely it is that your child committed the assault.
Your Child’s Defense
It is in your child’s best interest to obtain legal counsel in the event of assault charges. It is true that many cases are treated informally, or that charges will not remain on his permanent record.
However, it’s best not to work with the state as though it has your child’s best interest in mind. You are your child’s best advocate, and you will not be able to navigate the legal system without help from an experienced criminal defense attorney.
If you hire a defense lawyer right away, he or she can help to mitigate any damage that might be done by waiting. In addition, he or she can help to mitigate damage that you might do inadvertently because you don’t know the legal system.
Juvenile Defense Attorney in Detroit and the Metro Area
Your child’s future is at stake when facing even a misdemeanor assault charge. Be your child’s best advocate by choosing an advocate.
In conclusion, there is hope. As an experienced attorney, I will guide you through the legal process. I will make sure you both get the best possible outcome. Contact me today.
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