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What to do when your child is charged with a crime

Having a child involved in the juvenile court system of Kansas is disheartening. The organization and procedure of the juvenile court system is completely different from the adult system. If your son or daughter is detained, he or she isn't officially arrested. This is the main difference between adult court and the juvenile system. The next step is that a petition is drawn up that outlines the jurisdiction of the court that oversees the juvenile system and has the authority to detain the person it sees as guilty. A notice is served to the minor's family, and therefore, becomes the official charging document.

Once the case is brought before the court, it is adjudicated and the disposition is handed down. The main difference between juvenile records and adult records is that juvenile records are sealed from public view. Adult court records are public record and anyone can view them and comment on them.

The reason for this is that the law does not want the mistake that a juvenile has done to plague the person for years. Records are expunged after the person turns 18 years old. If the person has followed the direction of the court, he or she could have a clean record after his or her 18th birthday. The process is much less formal than in an adult court.

While you need to be aware that the disposition of the juvenile case is less detrimental, the legacy of parens patriae is evident still. The judge can still set a maximum sentence, the juvenile is monitored and the judge can state that the sentence is satisfied after a certain amount of time.

If your child is facing a major case and you don't know what to do, let the Law Office of James N. Brun, LLC help. We can guide you through the legal process.

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Overland Park, KS 66212

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