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Juvenile Offenses

About Juvenile Offenses in Rhode Island

If your child is in criminal trouble, you’ll want to learn as much as you can about the juvenile justice process. It’s best to hire a lawyer to represent your child as soon as possible after you learn of the problem. Get your child the best representation for juvenile offenses. You must keep in mind that the attorney represents the child and not the parent.

Arrests & Bookings

If your child is taken into custody, he or she will likely be booked at the police station. Booking involves logging in his or her name and the reason for the arrest in police records. Your child’s photo will be taken and he or she will be fingerprinted.

Police Questionings

Statements made to law enforcement personnel during questioning can be held against your child. Your child has the right to tell police he or she doesn’t wish to speak with them. As a parent, you may also tell the police your child doesn’t want to talk with them until you can find a juvenile attorney to represent your child during questioning.

Police Custody & Detention

Your child may be released into your custody pending a hearing or detained in a juvenile facility for a short period of time. Federal regulations prohibit holding juveniles in adult jail settings. Under federal standards, a child cannot be detained for longer than six hours in an adult jail setting and must be kept in an area that is out of sight and sound of adult inmates. Your child cannot be held very long in a juvenile detention facility without a detention hearing. The judge will review your child’s case and decide whether your child should continue in juvenile detention.


Your child may be “diverted” into community rehabilitation programs or sent to counseling or social services organizations, without having to enter the juvenile justice system. In some communities, juvenile offenders are sent to a “youth accountability board,” sometimes called a “community accountability board,” where community residents decide how the child can best be rehabilitated.

The Juvenile Justice Program

Each state’s juvenile case processing is different, but generally, you can expect the following:

  • Intake. The prosecutor’s office or juvenile probation department will decide whether to dismiss or divert the case or request formal intervention by the juvenile court.
  • Consent Decree. If the case is to be dismissed, your child may have to agree to conditions such as curfews, victim restitution, and counseling, written into a formal court agreement called a “consent decree.” Usually, your child will have to admit to doing the offending act in order to be eligible for a consent decree disposition. Your child will then likely be monitored for a period of time by a probation officer.
  • Fitness Hearing. The juvenile court judge will decide whether your child is fit to be tried and whether the case should be held in juvenile court or adult criminal court. In many states, prosecutors are required to file serious juvenile cases such as murder and other felonies in criminal court. Prosecutors may also request a transfer to adult criminal court where your child has been in juvenile court previously and intervention or diversion efforts haven’t worked.
  • Adjudicatory Hearing. This is a trial at which witnesses are called and lawyers argue both sides of the case. In most states, the hearing is in front of a judge rather than a jury
  • Disposition Plan. If your child is found delinquent (guilty) at the end of the adjudicatory hearing, probation officers will investigate your child, often ordering psychological exams and diagnostic testing. Probation officers will present detailed recommendations to the judge.
  • Disposition Hearing. The judge decides whether your child should be required to undergo drug counseling, confinement in juvenile detention, reimburse the victim (called restitution) or be on probation for a length of time.
  • Probation Review Hearings. Probation officers will monitor your child’s progress and report any probation violations to the judge.
  • Case Termination. After your child has successfully completed all the requirements of probation, the judge will dismiss the case.
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Josh is committed to following through with his clients and ensuring they are happy. He is not only thorough but he is very responsive and cares. I appreciated his help and he adequately explained the process.
Aly Starr
02:27 25 Feb 19
My Experience with Josh representing me was beyond what I could have hoped for. Josh explained his thoughts and exceptions on my case & followed through to receive the best outcome.. Cannot thank you enough Josh!
Troy McGann
13:12 15 Jan 19
I highly recommend the services of Josh Macktaz. He was responsive, efficient and very realistic about my case and the associated penalties. My legal costs were exactly as he suggested on our first call (which were fair). He is very knowledgeable of the Rhode Island law and has very strong contacts at the traffic tribunal. Related, he handled minor hearings without me which saved me money and travel time. He did the best possible job for a guy in my situation. Anyone that has a drunk driving charge in RI that does not consider Josh Macktaz is risking their future and wasting their dollars.
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23:10 13 Jan 19
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14:08 22 Dec 18
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06:41 14 Dec 18
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00:24 14 Dec 18
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04:46 06 Oct 18
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19:38 14 Sep 18
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19:59 12 Sep 18
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Uodam Sann
15:08 10 Aug 18
I will start off by saying I knew nothing about the criminal or traffic court system until March 2018. I made a choice to have one too many and was arrested (DUI). Dealing with the embarrassment of an arrest and fear of losing my job, I "google searched for a DUI lawyer" and Josh Macktaz name appeared. Although apprehensive about using a a Google Review to determine my future, I made the call. This is my experience... 1) Mr. Macktaz made time to meet me the day I outreached him. (free consultation)2) During our initial meeting Macktaz outlined in detail what I had ahead of me; including court dates and car insurance details.3) Mr. Macktaz was at every court appearance and explained what was going to happen in court and the potential outcome.4) He was confident in what the outcome would be... and he was right!In closing... would I retain Mr. Macktaz if I ever needed criminal representation again? Yes, he would be my first phone call. He continually follows up with his clients. I never felt the need to outreach Mr. Macktaz since he called or emailed first!
22:15 03 Jul 18
Professional, experienced and extremely knowledgeable! Josh took the time to answer all my questions, and was always very responsive. He was able to put my mind at ease. He was able to get my charges dismissed and my case expunged. Best Attorney in RI!!!
15:56 09 May 18
Josh was very professional and extremely knowledgeable of my situation. He took the time to meet with me face to face multiple times to gather all the facts so he could develop the best plan possible. After collecting the facts he sat me down and he discussed all the options I had and why certain options may or may not be available in my situation. During this very difficult time, I at least felt comfortable that I received the best possible outcome and Josh is the reason why. A true professional through and through.
Neal Manaskie
19:28 23 Apr 18
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Dylan Nunez
02:54 22 Mar 18
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Kathleen Whitmarsh
17:07 13 Mar 18

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