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Juvenile Law

Knowledgeable Attorneys Defend Juvenile Clients in Ohio

Lebanon lawyers provide valuable counsel for youths facing charges

When your minor son or daughter is charged with a crime, you need a knowledgeable attorney who is familiar with the unique aspects of Ohio’s juvenile justice system. At Ernst & Associates in Lebanon, we draw on more than 25 years of experience defending the rights of young people and working diligently to find appropriate solutions to their legal problems. No matter what specific allegation your child faces, our attorneys take the time to develop a thorough understanding of our young clients and the incident that led to their legal difficulty. From there, we construct a strong defense and, when necessary, advocate for alternatives to incarceration such as diversion or community service.

Accomplished law firm advocates for children in all types of cases

Ohio’s juvenile justice system concentrates on finding solutions that enable youths to address their problems and make better decisions in the future. Our attorneys assist in cases involving all types of allegations, including:

  • Assault — Charges arising out of fights between young people often are based on limited or misinterpreted information. Our lawyers conduct a thorough review to protect the rights of accused minors.
  • Drug possession — Juveniles who are arrested in connection with drug possession charges often benefit more from treatment than incarceration. For many youths, a drug-related arrest is the first time that families recognize their child’s problem. We argue for an outcome that attacks the true cause of the juvenile misconduct.
  • DUI — State laws prohibiting driving under the influence of alcohol are much stricter for young drivers. Motorists under the age of 21 are considered legally intoxicated if their blood alcohol concentration is .02 percent or greater, so even one drink can lead to a DUI charge. Our seasoned attorneys will mount a strong defense and identify errors that might have occurred in the law enforcement process.

In a free initial consultation, our attorneys can examine the facts relating to the charge and develop a plan to achieve the best possible result.

Available alternatives to juvenile detention

The Department of Youth Services has established a variety of programs that give young offenders a chance to initiate a positive change in their lives, such as:

  • Diversion — In some instances, authorities will remove an individual case from the juvenile criminal justice system and forge a resolution that keeps the young person’s record clean. Combining fair punishment and anti-crime programming, this solution helps avert problems that might occur if a young person is treated as a criminal offender.
  • Community-based alternatives — This alternative keeps juvenile offenders in their community and provides guidance to help them make better choices. Various types of intervention are employed inside and outside the home to reduce the risk of recidivism.
  • Probation — Juveniles who are first-time nonviolent offenders often receive probation, which forces them to abide by certain rules, overseen by an officer assigned to their case. This way, they can stay at home unless they violate one of the specified provisions.

Since the passage of the RECLAIM Ohio funding initiative in 1993, the state has successfully shifted thousands of minors away from juvenile detention and toward more effective solutions. Our knowledgeable attorneys know what alternatives exist and advocate vigorously for the sanction that suits the young person’s needs.

Contact a dedicated Ohio juvenile justice lawyer for a free initial consultation

Ernst & Associates represents southwestern Ohio juvenile clients in matters relating to alleged criminal conduct. Please call 513-970-6200 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation at our Lebanon office.

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Office Location
  • Lebanon Office
    11 S. Broadway St.
    Suite 200
    Lebanon, Ohio 45036
    Phone: 513-932-2214
    Fax: 513-932-2285