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Philadelphia Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorney

Juvenile courts and their processes are different from adult criminal court - and juvenile criminal offenses can have long-standing consequences that overlap with criminal law. Parents of children facing juvenile delinquency allegations are well-advised to contact a Philadelphia juvenile criminal defense attorney. Tauber law represents individuals in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the New Jersey area.

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Top-Rated Juvenile Offenses Attorney in Pennsylvania

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Having your child arrested or facing criminal allegations is unexpected, unsettling, and unnerving for parents and grandparents. Courts have established juvenile courts that deal exclusively with minors accused of crimes, but this does not mean the outcome will be positive. In order to protect the best interests of your child and their future, contact an experienced juvenile defense lawyer at Tauber Law as soon as possible. We can provide aggressive representation and advocate for the best outcome possible.

Tauber Law has more than 25 years of extensive courtroom experience handling criminal matters, including juvenile offenses cases. We handle all types of charges including theft, assault, drug charges, DUI, computer crimes, and more. We have the experience to help you and your family, no matter what you are facing. If you are looking for a juvenile law firm in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, or the New Jersey Area, contact us.

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Who Is Classified as a Juvenile Offender in Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, a juvenile is anyone between 10 and 17 years old. However, being the age of a juvenile does not guarantee their legal matter will be handled in juvenile courts. Anyone - of any age - charged with murder will be tried as an adult. Anyone 15 years or older who commits certain crimes (robbery, rape, and kidnapping) and has previously adjudicated delinquent (juvenile convictions) will be tried as an adult.

Types of Juvenile Criminal Offenses in NJ & PA

Many of the same crimes an adult can be charged with may be charged against juveniles. Some of the crimes juveniles may be arrested and charged with include:
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  • Assault
  • Burglary
  • Driving under the influence (DUI)
  • Drug possession
  • Fraud
  • Gang activity
  • Loitering
  • Murder
  • Murder/homicide
  • Possession of Stolen Property
  • Possession of a Weapon
  • Reckless Endangerment
  • Curfew violations
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Curfew violations
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Sex crimes
  • Shoplifting
  • Theft
  • Tobacco offenses
  • Trespassing
  • Truancy
  • Underage drinking
  • Vandalism
  • Vehicle theft

Penalties for juvenile adjudication can include probation, fines, and time in juvenile detention centers or residential treatment facilities.

Talk to an Experienced Juvenile Lawyer in Pennsylvania

Ready to take the first step in protecting your future? Get a free consultation with a Philadelphia juvenile defense lawyer today.
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Pennsylvania & New Jersey Juvenile Justice System

Pennsylvania's juvenile court system has some notable differences from adult criminal court:
  • Offenses are referred to as “delinquent acts” rather than crimes”
  • The process of determining whether a juvenile is “guilty” does not involve a jury trial.
  • A judge or a lawyer appointed by a judge (called a “hearing master”) will hear a case and make a decision.
  • Juvenile court hearings are closed (not open to public
  • Rather than being found “guilty,” juveniles are “adjudicated delinquent.”
Juveniles have a right to an attorney and a lawyer for juveniles may be able to present evidence or persuade the judge in an adjudication hearing that the juvenile is not a threat and does not need adjudication. A judge has the authority to refer cases to adult criminal court.
Pennsylvania & New Jersey DUI Laws and Penalties
Potential Defenses to Drunk Driving Charges in Philadelphia, PA
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Juvenile Offenses Grades in New Jersey and PA

Offenses committed by juveniles that would be crimes if the defendant was an adult are officially called “delinquent acts.” Being found the equivalent of “guilty” is called “adjudicated delinquent,” however, it is not the same thing as being convicted of a crime.

Separate from delinquent acts and outside of the jurisdiction of juvenile court, juveniles may be referred to criminal court for prosecution. Here, they may be given a “summary offense” which is considered a crime. These summary offenses are less serious than felonies or misdemeanors, typically offenses like disorderly conduct or underage drinking. These are subject to fines and sentences established in 30 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 923:

  • 1st degree: a fine of $250 or imprisonment not exceeding 90 days.
  • 2nd degree: a fine of $150 or imprisonment not exceeding 20 days.
  • 3rd degree: a fine of $75.
  • 4th degree: a fine of $25.

Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Court Process

Children and teens lack the ability to handle many situations and may end up in trouble due to bad choices or succumbing to peer pressure. They are often completely unaware of the potential consequences of their decisions. When a juvenile is arrested, they may be returned to their home, or they may be held for up to 72 hours before receiving a Detention Hearing.
Following the Detention Hearing is the Adjudicatory Hearing, where the evidence is presented and witnesses are called. From their, the juvenile will be adjudicated delinquent, or charges are dismissed. If adjudicated the Disposition Hearing will establish penalties, such as time in a special facility, or probation.
It is not in anyone’s interest - especially the government’s - to keep children locked up in jail, so children kept in detention in Pennsylvania must have a hearing every 10 days. Often they go straight from booking and detention to a hearing. The process can be fast. Contacting a juvenile criminal attorney immediately is critical. Families are well-advised to reach out to a juvenile attorney in Philadelphia at Tauber Law  immediately.
Pennsylvania & New Jersey DUI Laws and Penalties

Get a Philadelphia Juvenile Defense Lawyer Consultation Today!

You don’t have to face the PA juvenile court process alone. Tauber Law offers a free consultation to review your juvenile defense matter. Request a case evaluation or call us today.
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Differences Between Adult and Juvenile Offenses in Pennsylvania

When is a juvenile tried as an adult or treated as a juvenile in the legal system? A minor of any age can be charged with murder as an adult. A minor 15 or older can be charged as an adult for numerous serious crimes, including:

  • Aggravated assault
  • Aggravated indecent assault
  • Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse
  • Kidnapping
  • Rape
  • Robbery
  • Robbery of a motor vehicle

Whether or not your child’s legal issue will be handled in the juvenile court system or referred for prosecution as an adult, having an experienced juvenile criminal defense lawyer advocating for their future is imperative. When possible, it is always better for a minor’s case to be handled in the juvenile system, where recidivism rates (​​the tendency of a convicted criminal to reoffend) are much lower.

The court has different motivations for handling crimes for juvenile individuals than for adults. As minors, juveniles also have different rights than adults have in the criminal system. For example:

  • Juvenile cases are decided by a judge, and juveniles do not have the right to a jury trial (unless tried as an adult)
  • Juveniles do not have the right to preliminary hearings
  • Juveniles cannot be released on their own recognizance or be bailed out of jail.

Juveniles still maintain constitutional protections, like the right to a competent juvenile defense attorney (counsel) and the right to protect against self-incrimination.

Potential Statutory Penalties for Juvenile Offenses in Pennsylvania

Do not go into a juvenile court hearing thinking the judge will be lenient. While the outcome may include things like probation and restitution aimed at treatment, supervision, or rehabilitation, the possibility of summary offense or being tried as an adult should not be overlooked, particularly if this is not the individual’s adjudication hearing in Pennsylvania. When tried as an adult, punishments may include:
  • Summary offenses: Detailed above, including a fine of up to $300 and up to 90 days in jail.
  • 3rd-degree misdemeanor: Up to one (1) year in jail, and a fine of up to $2,000
  • 2nd-degree misdemeanor: Up to two (2) years in jail, and a fine of up to $5,000
  • 1st-degree misdemeanor: Up to five (5) years in jail, and a fine of up to $10,000
  • 3rd-degree felony: Up to 7 years imprisonment, and a fine of up to $15,000
  • 2nd-degree felony: Up to 10 years imprisonment, and a fine of up to $25,000
  • 1st-degree felony: up to 20 years imprisonment, and a fine of up to $25,000
Pennsylvania & New Jersey DUI Laws and Penalties
Potential Defenses to Drunk Driving Charges in Philadelphia, PA
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Possible Collateral Consequences of Juvenile Charges in Philadelphia, PA

The impact of an adjudicated delinquent can be profound and long-lasting. Teens and young adults may face a wide range of collateral consequences including:

  • Difficulty being admitted to university or college
  • Difficulty enlisting in the military
  • Difficulty obtaining a driver’s license (with a certain drug, alcohol, and driving offenses)
  • Challenges in obtaining financial aid
  • Difficult obtaining public housing
  • Challenges in obtaining professional licenses
  • Challenges obtaining employment
  • Issues with immigration

While it is true that a delinquency adjudication is not a criminal conviction under Pennsylvania law, the potential impact of an adjudication should not be downplayed or overlooked.

Contact Our Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorney in Philly Today!

Contact Tauber Law to speak with an experienced defense attorney for minors in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the New Jersey area. Your consultation is free.
Potential Defenses to Drunk Driving Charges in Philadelphia, PA
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Possible Outcomes to Juvenile Cases in PA

A judge in a juvenile adjudication hearing has numerous options for how to resolve a case:

  • Probation
  • Community service
  • Restitution
  • Participation in counseling or drug or alcohol treatment
  • Placement in a residential treatment facility, foster care, or group home
  • Detention

The focus of the juvenile court system is well-intentioned: treatment, rehabilitation, supervision, and welfare rather than punishment. However, this does not mean that consequences and impacts will not be lasting. A juvenile hearing should be taken very seriously - having a lawyer advocate for the best outcome can make a meaningful difference in your child’s future.

Civil Rights


Settlement for malicious prosecution

Our client was falsely arrested, maliciously prosecuted, and served 28 years in prison. After we won our client’s exoneration, the City of Philadelphia settled the case pre-suit for a record amount.

Civil Rights


Settlement for malicious prosecution and false arrest

Our client was falsely accused of shooting at the police, and he was wrongfully jailed for more than three years. He was acquitted in a criminal trial, and the City of Philadelphia ultimately paid a $3.8 million settlement.

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Medical Malpractice

Surgeon left medical device in patient during surgery resulting in a critical infection.

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Automobile negligence

Fatal car accident ended with payment of all available insurance proceeds.

What Our Clients Say

Alan took on my case after I lost faith in my prior lawyer. His relentless effort and pride made me feel like he was representing his own son. In the end, I recovered nearly ten times what my prior lawyer was even seeking. The money was great but Alans counsel made me believe in our justice system.
Alan Tauber, attorney at law is one who loves the law and loves practicing law. He holds a passion for the fight of and in it. Not only is Alan Tauber a great legal mind of the law, he is a man of integrity. Attorney Alan Tauber represented me for well over 15 years as we battled to right an egregious miscarriage of justice. After serving 28 years of a life sentence, it is attorney Alan Tauber who fought tirelessly to have the wrong made right. In 2019, my release and exoneration became a reality. Today Alan Tauber is still a great attorney, but more importantly, he is someone I call my friend.
Mr. Tauber's expertise was absolutely critical to my case and settlement. He helped and guided me every step of the way through a very difficult time. I never would have been able to do it without him. Having Mr. Tauber on my side is what made the difference!

Why Hire Tauber Law Juvenile Offenses Attorney for Juvenile Crimes Charges Defense

Stakes Are High

Tauber Law is not new to criminal defense and advocating for juveniles. We understand how Pennsylvania courts handle juvenile matters, and we have a professional rapport with the judges, courts, and other attorneys.

Experience Matter

You need an advocate who is experienced, capable, and proven. The outcome and results matter. When you hire us, you are choosing someone who will fight. Our juvenile defense lawyers know what to ask and what to do.

We Treat Our Clients Like Family

At Tauber Law, we don’t want our clients to have an adjudicated delinquent decision, and we treat our clients just as we would a member of our family. We know that the consequences of adjudication are painful for everyone, almost always emotionally and very often financially.

Alan Tauber

Free & Confidential Consultation

Our juvenile criminal defense lawyers offer a free consultation to discuss how we can provide a robust juvenile criminal defense, strategically created to obtain the best possible outcome. We will do everything in our power to get charges dismissed or reduce time in a detention facility to probation. Call Tauber Law as soon as possible to schedule your free case evaluation.
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Will I have a criminal record as an adult due to a juvenile offense in Philadelphia and New Jersey?

Not exactly. The equivalent to a conviction in juvenile criminal court is an “adjudication of delinquency.” While adjudications are not technically a criminal record, the record can be used by courts in making decisions on bail amounts, whether to grant probation and in determining a felony sentence. Felony courts will consider past criminal conduct as well as juvenile adjudications of delinquency when making decisions regarding sentencing

Can I have an expungement of a juvenile record in Pennsylvania?

Expungement following a juvenile conviction is possible via a court motion, with various waiting times depending on the nature of the offense. However, a juvenile convicted as an adult for specific serious offenses like murder, kidnapping, or rape, may not be expunged.