Juvenile Law and Courts
A juvenile is defined as a person under the age of eighteen (18) years and who has not been transferred to another court. Juvenile courts have jurisdiction over both criminal charges involving minors and matters in order to protect the interests of children including dependency and neglect, child abuse, child support, custody and related issues. Each county’s juvenile court handles its case differently and it is important that you retain an attorney with experience in a particular jurisdiction. Todd Moore PLC’s attorneys are familiar with the juvenile court procedures in Williamson, Davidson, Rutherford, Maury and Sumner counties of Tennessee.
Juvenile Court Family Law
Our firm handles all types of family law matters involving minors that may arise in juvenile courts across middle Tennessee, including the following areas:
• Allegations of child abuse
• Dependency and neglect cases
• Child custody matters
• Termination of parental rights petitions
• Cases involving the Department of Children Services
• Paternity cases
• Child support of unmarried parents
• Truancy cases
Juvenile Criminal Defense
Our firm also defends minors who are charged with crimes in the juvenile courts throughout middle Tennessee. The criminal laws of Tennessee apply to minors the same as adults. If the child is over 16 years old or if the child is charged with a very serious crime, such as murder, rape, or kidnapping, the juvenile court, after going through certain procedures, may transfer the case to adult criminal court. However, the overwhelming majority of juvenile criminal cases are handled in juvenile court and those courts handle these cases much differently than adult criminal courts.
It is important to seek the counsel of an attorney who is familiar with the procedures in the local juvenile court because juvenile courts across middle Tennessee vary in their procedures, such as the procedures for discovery of evidence. It is also important to have an attorney to help protect the rights of your minor child in the event he or she is found to have violated the law. Pretrial diversion is available in Tennessee juvenile courts as well as expungement of records at age 18 in certain cases. For the period prior to your child’s reaching age 18 and in those cases where expungement is not an option, it is important to have an attorney to advise you and your child on how a juvenile court record may affect your child and who may view that records and the related law enforcement agency records.
Please contact us at (615) 290-5355 if you or your child has any questions regarding juvenile laws or courts in Tennessee,