Are Conversations Between a Juvenile and thier Defense Attorney Confidential?

Interviewer: Do you have private conversations with the kids that they can choose not to disclose to their parents?

Jack: I will honor a child’s confidentiality. When the parents call to retain me, I tell them I’m representing the child, however, what is your agenda here, what is your wish list? Do you want them in counseling, you want to see his or her grades pick up, you want him or her cease associating with the current group of friends, and you want him or her to not skip school.

I share that with the juvenile, not just saying this is what mom and dad want, instead I tell them, “This is important. The prosecutor is going to be looking for improved grades, and the prosecutor is going to be looking for a letter from a counselor.

I can tell you from personal experience that if you continue to hang around with the crowd you’re hanging around with you will be a repeat customer for me. Although I enjoy making money, I don’t want to make it off your parent’s hard work.”

Do Punishments for Juvenile Offenses Mirror Punishments for Adult Offenses?

Interviewer: What kind of juvenile offenses tend to resemble adult one’s in the seriousness of the consequences and which ones are not punished as severely?

Jack: That’s a good question. You’ll see that the seriousness parallels adult crimes for robberies and sexual assaults. You will see early teens having improper sexual contact with, sometimes, their younger siblings, or younger kids in the neighborhood and the courts will deal with that offense quite seriously.

The punishment is not necessarily always detention but oftentimes the youthful offender will have to attend specialized counseling and/or sometimes they will have to reside in a residential placement where all of their needs are met but they are not free to come and go as they please.

Those residences provide sex offender counseling, education, and recreation. Sometimes in violent robberies when juveniles hold up other people on the street, for example taking phones, chains, or taking money from a pizza delivery person, those crimes are also treated almost as seriously as in adult court.

By Jack O’Donnell

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