Juveniles, also known as “minors,” were traditionally tried in the juvenile justice system, an institution intended to be distinctly milder than the harsh, punitive adult court system in both procedures and punishments. Beginning with the creation of the first U.S. juvenile court in 1899, the juvenile justice system was based on the idea that the state had a duty to protect and rehabilitate—as opposed to harshly punish—psychologically troubled youth who had been raised in difficult environments. However, this benevolent notion of protection began to erode at the end of the 20th century, as skepticism about the success of rehabilitation and fear about serious juvenile offenders arose. A juvenile came to be viewed as a dangerous individual who lacked a moral conscience and posed an extreme threat to society. In 1996, Massachusetts passed a law intended to crack down on juvenile “superpredators” by transferring a significant number of juvenile cases to adult court. Moreover, a recent examination of the Massachusetts justice system indicated that the penalties for juveniles convicted of similarly-violent crimes showed little consistency from case to case.
Inequities in juvenile punishments should be a major concern for Massachusetts courts as well as for juveniles charged with serious crimes. Given this inconsistency in punishment, representation by a seasoned Massachusetts juvenile defense attorney has become even more critical for juveniles who are eager to protect their constitutional rights, keep a clean record, and have the opportunity for a flourishing future. The criminal defense attorneys at the Greater Boston law firm of Altman & Altman, LLP, have over forty years of experience to guide them in representing juveniles in both Massachusetts juvenile and adult courts for crime such as the following:
- juvenile drug crimes
- underage drinking
- juvenile sex crimes
- possession of a fake ID
- malicious destruction of property
- assault and battery
- drug possession
- minor transporting alcohol
- juvenile delinquency crimes
Facing a criminal charge in MA can be incredibly frightening and overwhelming for juveniles and their families. Not only will a juvenile face serious punishment in the immediate future, but he or she must also confront an extremely difficult and stigmatized future. A criminal conviction, especially when a juvenile is tried in adult criminal court, will have incredibly harsh and lasting ramifications on future educational opportunities, job applications and interviews, and housing applications. At the Boston and Cambridge law firm of Altman & Altman LLP, our experienced, aggressive juvenile criminal defense lawyers make every effort to keep juvenile cases in juvenile court in order to avoid being tried as an adult. However, if a juvenile is tried in adult court, our attorneys are well-versed in the intricacies of Massachusetts criminal courts and their handling of juvenile cases.
If you or your child has been convicted of a juvenile crime in Massachusetts, representation by a seasoned juvenile defense attorney is indispensable. At the Greater Boston Law Firm of Altman & Altman, LLP, our criminal defense team has the skill and knowledge that comes with over four decades of experience. Contact us to schedule a free, confidential consultation, where we will explain your legal options and answer any legal questions you may have. We are available by phone at 617.492.3000 or at 800.481.6199 (toll free) around the clock and respond promptly to all emails received by the firm.