August 14, 2014
Advice for Teens From a Defense Attorney
The teen years are tough. As a defense attorney, I’ve worked with many teens who were dealing with particularly difficult circumstances. Most of them never expected to need the help of a defense attorney, and many of them are unaware of the severity of the consequences they are facing.
What Teens Need To Know
A defense attorney doesn’t just represent adults who should know better. They also defend the rights of teens who are just beginning to know better. Many of them are experiencing their first real freedom. They are far from home, feeling invincible and still figuring out who they are. It’s an exciting time, but it’s also full of risk. Public drunkenness, marijuana usage, trespassing, using fake identification and a host of other transgressions often form a major part of the caseload for a defense attorney who works with teens. It’s a heartbreaking part of the job, especially knowing the potential consequences for these and other infractions.
The odds are particularly high for those who are over the age of 18. They are beyond the grasp of the juvenile justice system. Accordingly, a conviction can make a huge difference in their future prospects. A host of professions may become unavailable to the teen who has been convicted of a crime. Even if they can still enter these professions, such as the law, health care or teaching, the road they must travel is far more difficult than their peers. Overcoming the stigma of a conviction is extraordinarily difficult, and it’s a stain that tends to follow young adults for many years.
It’s difficult advice to accept from a defense attorney or a parent. However, it is vitally important to exercise good judgment before engaging in any activity that might skirt the law. As a defense attorney, I know how eager the police can sometimes be to teach a young adult a lesson. They don’t always go easy on the young, so a good defense attorney is an indispensable ally.