We raise them. We love them. We steadfastly nurture them.

And, as parents, we seldom stop worrying about our kids – our precious sons and daughters – as we seek to smartly guide them through adolescence and toward a mature and empowered adulthood.

Moms and dads across East Tennessee and Northern Georgia commonly share that mindset and strategy concerning their children. Their hopes and mentorship proceed from unlimited love, but also with this personal acknowledgment at the fore: The kids are works in progress.

Parents know that to be true because they too were once children. And when they think back to when they were young and seemingly invincible, memories of certain character traits tied to juvenile behavior stand out. Things like impulsive behavior, actions defined more by rashness than by sound judgment, and susceptibility to peer pressure.

The bottom line: Young people sometimes make bad choices and mistakes on their march toward adulthood.

That is essentially a rite of passage. Thankfully, most of those errors don’t lead to materially adverse consequences and merely mark important learning experiences.

That is not always the case, though, especially when youthful conduct leads to interaction with police officers and other law enforcers. A juvenile indiscretion is sometimes deemed a serious legal infraction, and it can link to potentially harsh consequences.

Juveniles and criminal charges: wide-ranging possibilities

Minors routinely end up in legal scrapes spanning a broad spectrum of alleged wrongdoing. Here are a few bulleted entries spotlighting common youth-linked criminal charges:

  • Drug offenses (ranging widely from simple possession and possession with intent to sell to prescription drug infractions, distribution of a controlled substance and more)
  • Alcohol-tied offenses (e.g., drunk driving, minor in possession)
  • Assault, including fights at school
  • Theft (a broad category with charges ranging from robbery, burglary and larceny to shoplifting, forgery and additional offenses)

Proven defense counsel’s role in a juvenile crime matter

One online source discussing criminal law charges, potential penalties and legal advocacy for accused wrongdoers stresses a fundamental point. It notes that practiced criminal defense attorneys “combine knowledge and experience with an appreciation of the fact that a person’s future is at stake.”

Candidly, the future is a truly big deal in any criminal law scenario featuring a juvenile. A conviction in a criminal matter can upend the life of a young person in a telling and lasting way.

An enduringly adverse social stigma can attach, for instance. Jail time could be a possibility. Stringent probationary conditions might be imposed. A permanent criminal record could negatively impact future job and educational prospects.

Such possibilities are well noted by proven legal advocates, who also know that law enforcers often recognize distinguishing factors relevant to young offenders and their offenses.

Concerned parents can rely on an experienced and empathetic defense team to diligently pursue a strategy that promotes rehabilitation and a mitigated outcome where possible.

Because, again, kids make mistakes. In legions of instances, they shouldn’t have to pay an onerously heavy price for their errors.