The South Carolina Juvenile Justice System is complex. Penalties can be harsh and with the exception of status offenses, a juvenile may be committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice for an indeterminate period, until he or she reaches the age of 21, on any criminal offense.
I have almost 20 years of experience defending juveniles in family court. I know how to deal with the prosecution in order to obtain the best possible outcome for each individual child, no matter how serious the charges are.
Children can be charged with a status offense, which means the offense would not be a punishable offense if committed by an adult. Some examples include truancy, running away from home, or being incorrigible. Working with juveniles in a positive way at this juncture may be a major turning point in the life and future of the child.
Misdemeanors & Felonies
Juveniles charged with crimes may be taken into custody and detained at a juvenile detention center. A hearing must be held within 48 hours to determine whether there will be continued detention or if the child can be released to his or her parents pending further proceedings.
Juveniles are not entitled to a jury trial. If a juvenile takes a case to trial, it will take place in the family court and the judge will decide if there is enough evidence to prove the child committed the offense, beyond a reasonable doubt. If found guilty, the court has discretion to fashion an appropriate penalty.
At Sarji Law Firm, I am a vigorous and experienced advocate for children who have violated a condition of probation. The court has great discretion in imposing a penalty and I work diligently to obtain the best possible outcome for my client.
A final order of a court in the Juvenile Justice System may be appealed to a higher court for review.
If your child has been taken into custody or a petition has been filed alleging they have committed a criminal offense, contact me at Sarji Law Firm. I represent clients in Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester, and Beaufort Counties, including residents of Hilton Head, and others throughout South Carolina.