If you have a child that is being accused of a crime, you understand how serious the repercussions can be. With more and more kids being tried as adults, the once solid division between the two drastically different types of law has all but disappeared. Here are a few essential tips for finding the best juvenile justice attorney for your child.
The first impulse most parents have when it comes to finding the best lawyer for their kid is to open their wallet, bank account and college savings stash and throw as much money at a lawyer as they can, but just because a lawyer is more expensive doesn’t mean that they are always the best. Often times, high end lawyers are extremely busy, and they may not be able to devote as much time to your son or daughter’s case as you might like. Of course, experience and a good report with a judge are very important, but simply going out and buying the best lawyer you can isn’t always the fastest way to beat the rap. Sometimes, a younger and far hungrier lawyer can be just what the doctor ordered. By going with a younger lawyer, you will get someone who will memorize your case and fight for you tooth and nail. The most important thing is that you find someone who will be dedicated to your case and to your situation.
Second, juvenile law encompasses a wide range of crimes, so make sure you find a juvenile lawyer that deals specifically with cases involving whatever the charges are against your child. Often times, juvenile lawyers will market themselves as criminal attorneys for juvenile cases, but it is always a good idea to ask what part of juvenile justice they specialize in. It doesn’t do you much good to have an attorney who specializes in theft cases try to defend your child if they are being tried for manslaughter.
While trusting your gut is never a recommended method for anything, when choosing a lawyer, it is a good idea to go with the person you feel that you communicate with better than any other. Your lawyer is going to be your lifeline through this entire, and likely lengthy, process so it is extremely important that you partner yourself with someone who you can trust, someone who you can talk to easily and someone who takes the time to explain what all of the confusing legal mumbo jumbo is about along the way. Without that ability to communicate, your relationship will likely be fraught with difficulties.
Finally, you need your lawyer to care. It is true that to your lawyer, the fate of your child is simply another case, but to you, it is akin to life and death. If your lawyer doesn’t understand that, find a new one right away. Being a juvenile lawyer is about compassion, caring and trying to help above all else, so you should look for those qualities along with everything else outlined here.