Juvenile Delinquency
Juvenile Delinquency

Juvenile Justice

Juvenile justice is the area of criminal law applicable to persons not old enough to be held responsible for criminal acts. Juveniles, or minors, are by law, any individual not yet 18 years of age. When a minor child is accused of a criminal act, the process is initiated by the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services and a hearing is held in their offices to determine whether the allegation can be handled on an informal level or whether the case needs to be referred to the criminal courts for prosecution.

The attorneys at Shapiro Zwanetz & Associates (SZA) have specific experience in handling all criminal matters through Department of Juvenile Services, which will, in turn, help avoid formal prosecution. This is the goal of all juvenile defendants. If it is not possible to prevent a juvenile matter from reaching Court, the attorneys at Shapiro Zwanetz & Associates (SZA) stand ready to zealously defend our juvenile clients in any judicial proceeding.

Above all, however, attorneys at Shapiro Zwanetz & Associates (SZA) act as dedicated advocates for our juvenile clients’ rights, and they will work relentlessly to ensure that justice is done in every case they handle.


Drug Abuse Hits Hard in Rural Areas!


Drug and alcohol abuse among youth in rural areas in the country is equal to, or more prevalent, than that in metropolitan areas, and the Howard County rural population is not excluded from the nation’s statistics that corroborate this. Youth substance abuse and the criminal charges for such crimes and other crimes associated with the illegal use of drug and alcohol by minors in Howard County need a rigorous defense by a skillful Howard County Attorney who knows the fine facets of law associated, not only with substance abuse, but with the juvenile aspects of these ominous criminal charges that can so negatively affect a life before it ultimately has the chance to begin.

Whether or not you live in one of the rural areas of higher incidence of juvenile substance abuse, if your minor son or daughter has been charged with a crime involving possession or distribution of narcotics, or has been involved in a motor vehicle accident while driving under the influence, especially one where a party has been injured or worse, it isn’t always enough to retain counsel with background in substance abuse cases or one with expertise in DUI law in Howard County. You also want to be sure that the Howard County Attorney you choose to represent your child has the knowledge of juvenile law that can make a big difference in the way the defense is presented which can result in a much more favorable impact on the way the case will be judged. The attorneys at Shapiro Zwanetz & Associates (SZA) have that niche knowledge.

So much more so than when an adult is under the scrutiny of the law, when a minor faces criminal charges, the emotional strain and stress reverberates in each member of the entire family throughout what can be a lengthy litigation process. The family needs support in this time of grave emotional upheaval. An attorney versed in juvenile law will be able to empathize with an involved family’s tensions and apprehension and will be able to guide the family to the best psychological counseling to address these problems, as well as to any applicable substance abuse treatment programs for the defendant that will benefit the child’s case and will also treat family issues.

Criminal Defense Practice Areas:

Please read more about some of the specific areas of criminal defense below but don’t worry if you don’t see your case. We do it all! From A to Z we’ve got your back!

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