Our Philadelphia criminal lawyers have over 25 years
of combined legal practice – handling some of the
toughest cases in the country.
SKA Law is a premier, Philadelphia criminal defense law firm, founded by professional criminal attorneys. We take on cases other law firms turn down, because we know how to fight – and when to negotiate. Our goal is to get you the best outcome possible. No fluff. No nonsense. Our focus is results.
SKA Law takes on fewer clients than other firms – it’s because we believe that taking on fewer clients means we can provide more service, and better results.
Our firm has over 25 years of combined legal practice. Our Philadelphia criminal attorneys have been recognized by the top lawyer ranking services.
Our Philadelphia criminal attorneys are available 24/7- regardless of the holiday, or time of week. We are always available to help you.
We take on fewer clients than other firms. Each client works 1:1 on with one of our senior attorneys.
You never want to receive a phone call notifying you that your child has been charged with the commission of a crime. This can be rather shocking, to say the least. You will not know what to do at first. You may become embarrassed or even angry at the news. Once that initial shock wears off, you are left with determining what your next course of action should be. This can be compounded if you find out that your child has actually been charged as an adult due to the nature of the alleged crime. You might wonder how this can even happen, but there is a provision for it under Pennsylvania law. This is why you will want to consult with a professional criminal lawyer as soon after the charges are filed as possible.
The Nature Of Violent Crime
Typically, individuals under the age of 18 are tried within the juvenile justice system. This is an entirely different process with different goals and objectives than those of the adult system. The reason for this is that children are generally viewed differently in the eyes of the law when it comes to the commission of a crime. However, there are exceptions.
Prosecutors have the prerogative to charge a juvenile as an adult if the crime is considered to be violent in nature. This will typically happen if the individual was 15 years of age or older at the time of the crime, and he or she used what is considered to be a deadly weapon in the commission of the alleged act. This would tend to involve a knife or gun, although other weapons would count as well. If the teen had previously committed a violent crime, then the prosecutor in the case might try them as an adult as well.
The crimes that tend to be referred to adult court include the following:
What About A Summary Offense?
A summary offense is the least serious charge that can be leveled against a juvenile. In such a case, the teen would go through the same court system that an adult would and a verdict would be rendered. If the juvenile is found to be guilty, then a punishment will be handed down. This will not typically involve jail time in a juvenile facility, but that can come later if the terms of the sentence are not followed through on.
Some examples of summary offenses are:
It is important to follow the terms of the sentence handed down after a summary offense or the case will likely be moved to juvenile court.
Getting A Case Moved To Juvenile Court
Particularly for violent crimes, you do not want to see your teen charged as an adult. The goal of the juvenile system is rehabilitation. You will want a lawyer fighting on your side to prove that your son or daughter can be rehabilitated and should not be subject to the adult system. In order to do this, your lawyer will first ask for a decertification hearing. It is at this hearing that the judge will listen to all the facts of the case, including any relevant information regarding your child that may be pertinent to the charges. This can include previous offenses, the seriousness of the crime, and whether or not the teen is viewed to be able to be rehabilitated prior to becoming an adult.
This is an extremely important matter, so you will want an experienced lawyer by your child’s side every step of the way. Our office will work hard to get the case heard in juvenile court. This is critical on so many levels.