Boston Juvenile Defense Lawyers
Parents all too often allow or encourage their children to speak to the police, unaware of potentially grave consequences and not appreciating that the right to remain silent also protects the innocent, then are shocked when their children are arrested or charged. Politely decline police requests to question your child, and tell them your lawyer will be in touch. Our experienced Boston juvenile defense lawyers provide protection for children who are questioned by police, under investigation, or already accused of crimes in Massachusetts.
Adolescent Brain Development
Throughout history there has been a commonsense realization that juveniles are not adults. No matter how intelligent the child, judgment is lacking. They take foolish risks, are impulsive, unaware of consequences, and easily influenced by their peers, or by what they think their peers respect.
Recent developments in brain scanning now grounds these observed behavioral deficiencies in science. Specifically, normal human development of the brain leaves leaves maturation of the frontal lobes for last. The frontal lobes modulate our more primitive behaviors, including those just described.
Jack Cunha was an early leader in using this scientific evidence to defend children charged with crime, arguing that children are “less guilty” than adults because they do not possess the same capacities, which is now recognized by the United States Supreme Court and the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. At Cunha & Holcomb, we take all steps necessary to defend your child.
Consequences of Conviction
A juvenile criminal record can harm future employment opportunities, and entry into colleges, universities, or the military. A juvenile drug conviction will make that student ineligible for federal student financial aid.
In Massachusetts, a juvenile (a child under age 18) is usually charged with crimes in Juvenile Court, which can find the child delinquent or not delinquent, rather than guilty or not guilty as in adult court. However, juveniles may still be charged with crimes that carry possible state prison incarceration, because, in certain circumstances, the Commonwealth can indict him or her as a “Youthful Offender.” At the far end of the spectrum, any child 14 or older accused of murder must be tried as an adult, without exception.
Experienced Juvenile Delinquency Criminal Defense
Our Boston juvenile defense lawyers represent juveniles accused of all types of criminal offenses, including:
- Underage drinking
- Disorderly conduct
- Drunk driving (called OUI in Massachusetts)
- Shoplifting and larceny
- Drug charges, including intent to distribute even a small amount of marijuana
- Juvenile sex crimes
Protect your child. If the police want to speak with your child, or your child has been charged with a crime, you should contact an experienced and qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Contact Our Lawyers
Attorney Jack Cunha can help you protect your child’s rights and future during an investigation or after being charged with a juvenile delinquency offense.
Please contact our firm at 617-523-4300 to schedule an initial consultation. One of our Boston juvenile defense lawyers is a native bilingual speaker in Spanish and English. Another is fluent in French.