In Arthur L. Pressman Law Blog, Juvenile Crimes

Youthful Offender Status

Youthful Offender Status

If you have been charged with a crime and you are under the age of 19, you may be eligible for youthful offender status. This might be the best option for you if you are going to safeguard your future. Here is what you should know.

Youthful Offender Status | Consequences of Convictions

You’ve likely heard warnings from parents, teachers, and guidance counselors about how much your actions today can affect your adult life. Because of the Internet, you’ve grown up with incredible resources no other generation had – but you’re also experiencing challenges and pitfalls that no previous generation has faced. Every post and picture is permanent. Every Internet tidbit that mentions your name – including police and courts posts – will be easy for a college or employer to find.

Youthful Offender Status | How it Can Affect Your Future

If you’ve “messed up” as a young adult, it may ruin your career aspirations. If you can transition into adulthood gracefully, build a solid resume and cultivate reliable character references, and interview well, employers may be inclined to forgive an embarrassing Facebook post from your high school years – they’ll understand that if the Internet had been what it is now when they were young, their careers might have been jeopardized, too. Criminal convictions, however, are another story. Almost any employment application will ask outright whether you’ve been convicted of any felony offenses; some will ask about misdemeanors; and others will involve background checks. A criminal conviction at a young age could derail all of your hopes and plans.

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Youthful Offender Status | How We Can Help

However, the New York State Penal Code does contain a potential allowance for youthful indiscretion. If you’re under the age of 19 and charged with a criminal offense, you may be eligible for “youthful offender status.” This doesn’t mean that you won’t face penalties. A conviction could still mean fines, other restrictions, and even a sentence to a juvenile detention center. However, your conviction wouldn’t leave a criminal record. If you take your crime and conviction as a learning experience, get your life on track, and avoid any further criminal activity, your future success, happiness, and financial security won’t be in jeopardy. If you want to know more about how we can help you, please call our Buffalo criminal defense attorney Arthur Pressman today for a free consultation.

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