While most juvenile criminal offenses in Virginia are resolved entirely within the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court (JDR Court), there are certain circumstances where cases are transferred and certified to the Circuit Court for resolution. Cases transferred and certified to Circuit Court result in the juvenile being tried as an adult, and resulting convictions can have substantial and lifelong effects on the juvenile.
There are three different ways that juvenile charges can be transferred to Circuit Court for adjudication in Virginia. They are commonly referred to as Section A, Section B, and Section C transfers based on their corresponding provisions in Virginia Code § 16.1-269.1. Section A transfers can theoretically originate from any felony charge, whereas Section B and Section C transfers can only occur when the juvenile has been charged with certain serious felonies. For any transfer, the juvenile must be … Read More »
It can be an unsettling process when your child faces criminal charges. Many parents worry about the consequences for their child’s future and are confused by both the process and the terminology surrounding the juvenile justice system. Unless you have been intimately involved in the juvenile system for a long period of time, it is very difficult for you to predict what will happen in your child’s case. Having realistic expectations on what you as a parent will face in the juvenile system will ease the stress on your family and put you in a better position to protect your child’s future. Here are five things to expect when your child is facing criminal charges in Virginia:
1. The Juvenile System Is Not There to Teach Your Child a Lesson.
It should be no surprise that for many juveniles facing criminal charges, it is not the first … Read More »
You’re a resident of Fairfax County and you have just received every parent’s nightmare—a phone call from the police telling you that your child has been arrested and will be facing criminal charges. For many parents, this will be your first interaction with the justice system and it is important to know that the juvenile system in Fairfax County is nothing like what you see on Law & Order or other TV shows. In fact, the juvenile system is so different from the adult criminal system in Fairfax, in terms of procedure and terminology, that many long-time attorneys find it confusing.
Every criminal charge for a juvenile in Fairfax starts with a “petition” (as opposed to a warrant or indictment for adults). The petition will state the child’s name and address, the name and address of the child’s parents and/or guardians, … Read More »
As citizens, we often give allowance for a certain amount of misconduct by juveniles. We recall our own indiscretions, perhaps, or we just simply understand that maturity and experience often come after a failure or misstep. Virginia’s criminal justice system also provides for some latitude in giving juveniles an opportunity to learn from, and move past, mistakes or conduct that land them in front of a judge. One of the most common methods for achieving this, and perhaps the most misunderstood, is the automatic expungement of juvenile records pursuant to Virginia Code Section 16.1-306.
The common misconception about juvenile records is that they are always secret. This is untrue. Juvenile records are generally non-public, but a variety of exceptions provide for certain individuals or agencies to access juvenile records. Another common misconception is that once a juvenile becomes an adult (at … Read More »