Juvenile Law

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Juvenile Law Charges & Status Offenses


Looking for an attorney who specializes in juvenile law?  Nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes. As adults, we know that we are responsible for the choices we make. But our children usually have no idea how the choices they make today can affect their lives tomorrow.




Too often, parents and their children are unaware of the true seriousness and lasting effects of a juvenile or status charge. They think that if they plead guilty, they can deal with the consequences and move on with life like nothing ever happened. The fact is, a conviction, whether it be for a minor infraction or a serious offense, can come back to haunt a young person for years to come when applying for a job, gaining admission to college or enlisting in the military.


Juvenile Public Offenses


A juvenile “public offense” means an action brought in the interest of a child who is accused of committing an offense which, if committed by an adult, would be a crime, whether a felony, misdemeanor or violation.  Public offenses are prosecuted in a confidential juvenile session of the county’s district court. However, traffic offenses alleged against a child that is 16 years old or older are prosecuted during the general traffic court session of the county’s district court. 


Juvenile Status Offenses


A juvenile “status offense” is any action bought in the interest of a child who is accused of committing acts which, if committed by an adult, would not be a crime.  Status offenses include the following:


  • Beyond control of parents or school personnel
  • Habitual runaway
  • Habitual truant
  • Tobacco offenses
  • Alcohol offenses


Whether your child is accused of committing a violent public offense or a relatively innocuous status offense, they still deserve to have their rights protected. Juvenile law proceedings and outcomes can be complex, with results ranging from conditional discharge, to probation, to placement in a youth detention facility, to payment of restitution. Whether or not your child committed the offense of which he or she is accused, you should retain a zealous, fearless and experienced criminal defense attorney, because being charged with a crime as a juvenile can have a significant negative impact on your child’s future.




Meridith spent 5 of the 9 years she served as a criminal prosecutor handling all juvenile law and status offense actions brought in McCracken County.  This experience gives her invaluable knowledge and insight into the complexities of juvenile law at every stage of the proceedings. Meridith will examine the details of your child’s case and use every available legal resource to build the strongest possible defense. Let Meridith assist you in protecting your child’s rights and the record that they will carry into adulthood, affecting everything from college applications to employment opportunities.  Call Meridith today at (270) 936-6608 or CLICK HERE to schedule a free initial consultation.



Call Meridith

Phone: 270.255.5005



418 N. 7th Street

Paducah, KY  42001