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Juvenile Crimes

Juvenile Criminal Attorney based in Macomb County, MI and Lee County, FL

If your son or daughter, or minor loved one is under 18 and is facing a criminal charge, most minor offenders will be charged as juveniles. Juvenile criminal cases can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony. For extremely serious crimes, juvenile offenders can still be charged as an adult. Most, however, will not be, but a juvenile case can still have major consequences for a young person’s life. This can include but is not limited to:

  • Incarceration in a juvenile justice center
  • A Juvenile criminal record that can affect future opportunities.
  • Added stress and trauma to a young defendant’s life.
  • Extensive probation and counseling in addition to or in lieu of juvenile confinement

The juvenile system differs from the adult criminal justice system in some key ways, however. The juvenile criminal justice system is focused even more on rehabilitation than the adult system. While rehabilitation is one of the prongs of sentencing in adult court, there is a greater emphasis upon it in adult court. Likewise, while punishment is a prong of sentencing in juvenile court, it is generally less harsh than the adult system can be. That said, many juveniles can be, and are, confined to juvenile centers for months or even years, so it is extremely important to make sure a juvenile case is properly handled.

Juvenile cases also have other benefits that adult cases do not have. For instance, some cases can qualify for the Consent Docket. When a case makes the consent docket, a plea and judgement of guilt is never entered, but a juvenile and their parent(s) or guardian(s) will agree an oversight plan by the court. If the juvenile successfully completes all requirements, then the matter will be fully dismissed. If, however, the juvenile is not successful, then they will continue to face the original felony or misdemeanor charges.

Other benefit is various outcomes for Diversion. Diversion is not quite as “clean” as the Consent Docket in terms of removing all records, but it can still be a very beneficial option for a juvenile offender. If a minor qualifies according to various factors, their case can be “diverted” from the court system, which would allow them to be released to the custody of their parents, and oversight of the minor by a public or private entity to address any underlying issues that brought the juvenile originally before the court. At the end of this process, a case can be fully dismissed.

If the cases are not resolved in either of the two above manners, they will be set for the Formal Calendar, in which a case will proceed very much like an adult criminal case. Just as in adult cases, a juvenile will have a right to trial and a presumption of innocence. Note that Florida juvenile cases have a slightly different format, but are very similar in diversionary programs that sometimes can even keep a minor from even having to go to court.

Contact Barnwell today at (810) 394-2952 or (239) 325-6989 to get your minor and juvenile loved one the defense that they deserve.

Client Reviews

Call him. Day or night, he actually answers. And he personally will fight your case. Not pass it off to someone else who won't return your calls once you hire them, like so many other law firms. Great results!

Cheryl T.

Excellent attorney. Fights hard for all his clients and produces results. Not only knows his stuff but you can tell cares about all his clients and sees them as real people and worth fighting for.

Jake A.

Absolutely amazing. Bill goes above and beyond for his client. I have been blessed to have had him by my side and would definitely recommend him to anyone needing legal counsel.

Jamie N.

I contacted Bill Barnwell personally, spoke with him and hired. He represented me in a domestic violence case. I felt that the accusations on me we're incorrect. Bill was able to have the case dismissed with no key...


Mr. Bill Barnwell is by far the Best Attorney I have ever had the luxury of representing me. He was very persistent and persuasive to the point of me only serving 12 days in county on a 4th Habitual felony of violation...


Bill was extremely helpful, from the beginning of my initial consultation through my appearance in front of the judge. I was charged with a misdemeanor in Highland Park while on vacation from a different state. I had no...


Mr. Bill Barnwell assisted me through a pretty scary situation where I had a person harass/stalk me. Mr. Barnwell was very empathetic and helpful. After dealing with police, detectives, different attorneys and judges...


Receiving an OWI ticket with a .15 bac from a State police officer on I-696 was something I wasn't ready for. It was also written on the ticket that I was speeding more than 15mph over the speed limit. The officer didn't...


I hired Bill for a felony case on which I wrongly accused and my rights were violated. Mr. Barnwell fought this charge tooth and nail and I am happy to say all charges were dismissed. His dedication for his clients...


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