Is Your Child’s Future At Risk?

As a parent, the worst thing you can feel is helplessness in your child’s situation. At a certain point, you realize your kid is going to take chances and make mistakes, but when those mistakes carry a criminal record, you can only feel helpless. But you’re not. You have options.

At Whiteaker & Wilson, PC d/b/a Law Office of Stuart P. Huffman, we are experienced criminal defense attorneys who serve clients from Springfield and across Missouri. Our lawyers often help parents and minors dealing with the juvenile justice system. We work diligently to protect our client’s rights and preserve their future.

How Is The Juvenile Justice System Different From The Adult Justice System?

In Missouri, the juvenile justice system differs in several key ways. In large part, the system is heavily geared towards treatment and rehabilitation rather than “corrections.” For most juvenile crimes, there is a robust alternate sentencing system. Even the terms are different:

  • There are no verdicts but adjudications.
  • There are no sentences but rather dispositions.
  • There is no prison but placement.

These differences, subtle and major alike, make for a vastly different approach to your case. Despite these distinctions, our experienced team can quickly and accurately build a case to defend your child and preserve their future.

When Are Juveniles Tried As Adults?

Juveniles may be tried as adults in Missouri under certain circumstances. Generally, they would have to be older than 12 and have to face accusations of a serious crime. However, the law also allows children under twelve to face adult charges if the charge is serious enough, such as:

  • First and second-degree murder
  • Rape
  • Drug distribution

Before any child can face an adult charge, they do have to go through a hearing called “certification proceeding.” It is there that we can move to protect your child’s rights.

Protecting Your Child’s Future Is Worth It

You have every right to fight for the future and freedom of your child, and we can help. Call our office at 417-413-5858 or send us an email to get started.