Juvenile Crimes Attorneys in Des Moines
Protecting Your Child’s Rights and Future
Young people make errors in judgment – it is part of the growing process. When those errors lead to a run-in with the law, there may be immediate and long-term consequences. Our Iowa juvenile delinquency lawyers at Branstad & Olson are here to help you protect your child’s rights through every stage of the legal process.
We care about your child’s best interests. Call (515) 329-3100 today for a free consultation to discuss your next course of action.
In Iowa, the juvenile court has jurisdiction over cases involving minors. In the State of Iowa, most minors accused of delinquent acts will have their case heard by the juvenile court, rather than the adult criminal court. However, in certain circumstances, a minor may be tried as an adult. For example, youths over 16 years of age or youths accused of committing a violent felony, such as sexual assault, manslaughter, or murder, may be tried as an adult if certain requirements are met.
A delinquency case can involve several stages, including:
- Intake (investigation)
- Adjudication hearing (determination of responsibility)
- Disposition hearing (determination of consequence)
Delinquency Petitions & Informal Adjustments
At the conclusion of intake, a juvenile court officer who conducts the investigation will determine whether a delinquency petition should be filed or if the case should be resolved through informal adjustment.
Informal adjustment is the process of handling a juvenile delinquency matter outside of court. Generally, it involves the minor acknowledging responsibility for the act, and the minor and their parents agreeing to take certain actions. These could include working with a juvenile court officer, completing community service, paying victim restitution, or obtaining mental health or substance use treatment. Successful complete of an informal adjustment will end a case without any findings of responsibility or other consequences for the juvenile.
Alternatively, a juvenile court officer could decide to file a delinquency petition to bring the case to an adjudication hearing before a judge. During this hearing, the State will present the evidence they have against the minor, and the minor will have the opportunity to defend against the charges. This is much like a criminal trial in many ways. Like a criminal trial, there are rights protecting the child who is accused.
After the hearing, a decision will be made regarding responsibility. If the judge rules the minor is not responsible, the case will be dismissed. On the other hand, a decision against the juvenile will lead to a disposition hearing in which consequences for the act will be determined by the court.
Call (515) 329-3100 for a Free Consultation
When your child is accused of a delinquent act, you may have many questions and few answers. Branstad & Olson is here to provide representation for your child’s situation.
Contact our Des Moines juvenile delinquency attorneys today.
Vehicular Homicide Not Guilty - Trial
Assault with Intent to Commit Sexual Abuse Not Guilty – Jury Trial
Indecent Exposure Not Guilty– Jury Trial
Suppression Leading to Dismissal Reversed and Remanded
Possession of Marijuana Not Guilty– Jury Trial
Criminal Mischief Not Guilty– Jury Trial
Appeal - Administrative Reversed and Remanded
Murder 1st Degree Not Guilty– Jury Trial
Robbery 1st Degree Not Guilty– Jury Trial
Appeal - Criminal Conviction Reversed and Remanded