I work regularly in King County Juvenile Court, representing teenagers who are charged with misdemeanors (small crimes, like shoplifting) and felonies (big crimes, like robbery). I get the police report, go through it with the youth, listen to their side, listen to what they want to have happen in their case, and then try to make as many options as possible available to them.
The options can include a trial, where we fight the charge, or they can include some kind of plea bargain. Many plea bargains in Juvenile Court include some kind of treatment, such as drug treatment, trauma counseling, or community service. Each youth is different, and each set of circumstances is different, so I try to help each person come up with a strategy that works for them specifically.
As a defense attorney, I have a different role than anyone else in the juvenile justice system, because my only agenda is to work for the accused youth. If I’m your lawyer, I don’t try to be your parent or your probation officer. I try to be your voice, your advocate, and your guide through what can be a stressful and confusing time.