Underage Crimes Lawyer

Contrary to popular belief, underage crimes are all too common. According to the United States Department of Justice, 3000 per 100,000 juveniles between the ages of 10 and 17 were arrested in 2014. While this number is down from previous years, most would qualify this phenomenon as an epidemic.

Although statutory crimes are not treated as harshly, the penalties are still severe, with consequences including the creation of a criminal record, fines, and even time spent behind bars. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid these punishments with the help of a skilled underage crimes lawyer.

Contact a North Carolina criminal defense lawyer at Breeden Law Office at (919) 661-4970 to discuss your particular situation and how we can help.

Common Crimes and Penalties

Those under the age of 18 can be arrested for almost any crime. Although children are not treated as harshly as adults in the criminal justice system, the effects of a criminal conviction can be haunting. Common crimes and penalties that juveniles are often arrested for include, but are not limited to:

  • Underage Alcohol Consumption: Like the rest of the county, in North Carolina, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to consume alcohol. It is even illegal for underage individuals to possess alcohol. Most cases of underage drinking are labeled as class two misdemeanors. This carries up to 60 days in jail.
  • Underage DUI: Drivers under the legal drinking age only account for 10 percent of licensed drivers. However, they make up nearly 15 percent of all drunk driving fatalities. This statutory offense is punished very harshly, with penalties including a huge fine and up to one year in jail.
  • Possession of a Fake ID: This is especially common among college students. In order to get into bars and nightclubs, an underage individual might buy a fake ID. It is not worth the risk, however, as a conviction can lead to a one-year license suspension.
  • Assault: Whether it happens at school or on private property, a fight that results in injuries can lead to serious criminal consequences. Depending on the severity of the crime, the guilty party may be sentenced to 60 or 120 days in a corrections facility.
  • Drug Possession: Simple drug possession charges may be pressed after a teen is pulled over as part of a routine traffic stop. If drugs are discovered in the vehicle, the officer may make an arrest. The penalties for this crime typically include drug counseling, diversion programs, a probation period, and, in extreme cases, time behind bars.
  • Disorderly Conduct: In North Carolina, underage disorderly conduct charges normally involve alcohol. If this is the case, an immediate license suspension may be assigned. Additional penalties may include probation, drug and alcohol classes, and even 60 days of detention.
  • Shoplifting: Shoplifting is often punished with leniency in North Carolina. While a crime as minor as shoplifting may not result in any major penalties, it can result in the creation of a criminal record. This will make it difficult to get approved for housing and find employment.
  • Date Rape: Rape is one of the most seriously punished crimes. Whether it occurs at a party or in a domestic situation, it is treated harshly. Hiring a skilled lawyer can help you avoid the worst consequences of being convicted, such as having to register as a sex offender.
  • Sex Crimes: Offenses such as sexual assault and child pornography can lead to years of imprisonment, even for those who are under the age of 18. As is the case with any underage crime, obtaining legal representation can increase your chances of avoiding a conviction.

Post-Secondary Discipline

While most underage crimes come with penalties that are imposed by the department of justice, colleges and universities have separate punishments. In addition, most institutions of higher learning will not inform parents until sanctions are imposed.

Imagine, for example, that you or your child is accused of possessing alcohol on campus. Rather than notify the parents, the school will assign the punishments and contact the police. University punishments are applied even when the offense occurs off-campus. At North Carolina State University, for example, underage drinking is often punished with alcohol assessment programs, probationary periods, and even suspension or expulsion.

How Breeden Law Office can Help

If you or your child has been accused of an underage crime, you may be able to avoid a conviction with the help of the North Carolina underage crimes lawyer at Breeden Law Office. With over 19 years of experience in navigating the court system, attorney Jonathan Breeden can give your case the best chance of success. Beyond practicing law, attorney Breeden is passionate about improving the lives of children. He knows that underage individuals are often unfairly accused and will do everything in his power under the law to help your child avoid a criminal conviction and the formation of a criminal record.

To find out how you can avoid criminal consequences, call (919) 661-4970 today.

Call Breeden Law Office today:

Call (919) 661-4970

Divorce In North Carolina: What You Need To Know

A book by Jonathan Breeden