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Questionnaire: Choosing a Juvenile Defense Attorney

If you're looking for a juvenile defense attorney for yourself or your child, making the right choice can seem overwhelming. There are many sources, like legal directories on the internet, that can lead you to a variety of attorneys from which to choose. Once you've compiled a list, you may want to interview several attorneys—by phone or in person. It's important to find the right one for you or your child. After all, you have a lot at stake. The following questions can help you make an informed decision when choosing a juvenile defense attorney.

Choosing a Juvenile Defense Lawyer: Questions to Ask

How long have you been practicing criminal law, specifically in the area of juvenile law?

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Can you explain the key differences between juvenile cases and adult criminal cases?

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What types of criminal offenses or juvenile crimes do you have experience defending (DUI, shoplifting, or other misdemeanor cases)? What experience do you have with the particular charges involved in this case?

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Have you represented juvenile offenders in both juvenile court and adult court?

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Is your practice currently devoted exclusively to juvenile law, or do you work in other practice areas? If so, what areas?

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What outcomes have you achieved for your clients in cases similar to this one?

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Have you successfully handled cases involving the expungement of juvenile records by the state's attorney guidelines?

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What are the possible outcomes in this case?

Clean Record _____ Criminal Charges Dropped _____ Community Service _____

Restitution _____Residential Treatment _____ Probation _____ Other _____

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Could you explain the likelihood of a jury trial in the juvenile court system and under what circumstances it might be pursued?

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What strategy do you recommend in this case? How can you help protect my child's rights and ensure they receive a fair adjudication process in the criminal justice system?

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Has your law office worked with probation officers or mental health professionals in juvenile cases to provide a well-rounded defense?

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Do you know any diversion programs or alternative sentencing options that may be available for my child?

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Will you be doing the work on this case, or will you delegate it to a less experienced attorney, a paralegal, or a law clerk?

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What are your fees?

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How much do you think this case will cost?

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How will you keep me informed of developments in the case?

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How long will it take to resolve this case? _____________________________

Have you ever had your license suspended? If so, please explain.

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Have you been the subject of disciplinary proceedings? If so, please explain.

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Have former clients filed complaints against you? If so, please explain.

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Can you clarify the role of a public defender versus hiring a private juvenile attorney for my child's case?

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Other Questions/Notes

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In addition, ask yourself the following questions:

Is the location of the office convenient to my home and/or office? Yes _____ No _____

Are appointments available at convenient times? Yes _____ No _____

Does this attorney's personality work well with mine/my child's? Yes _____ No _____

Do I feel intimidated by this attorney? Yes _____ No _____

Am I comfortable asking questions? Yes _____ No _____

Do I feel confident that this attorney will do a good job? Yes _____ No _____

Choosing a Juvenile Defense Lawyer: Related Resources and Tips

When selecting a juvenile defense attorney for your child, it's crucial to consider their experience within the juvenile court system. Here are a few helpful tips and resources.

  • Discuss strategies to minimize the potential consequences, such as avoiding a criminal record and addressing issues like curfew violations and substance abuse
  • Understand how the attorney handles detention hearings
  • Understand what steps can be taken to secure your child's release from a juvenile detention center
  • Check if the attorney is a member of the local bar association and adheres to their ethical standards

For more information and resources, please click on the links below.

Get Legal Representation – Meet With a Juvenile Defense Attorney

Having a strong attorney-client relationship in juvenile cases is imperative. Now that you have a helpful checklist to help you choose a juvenile attorney, it's time to put it to use. After all, there are many benefits to hiring an attorney early in the process. Benefits include the ability to influence the evidence in the record and possibly enter into an agreement with the prosecution. Get a head start on your case by finding a local criminal defense attorney with juvenile court experience.

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  • Defense attorneys can help protect your rights
  • A lawyer can seek to reduce or eliminate criminal penalties

Get tailored advice and ask your legal questions. Many attorneys offer free consultations.

 

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