Although juveniles in Washington's criminal justice system are afforded certain protections not necessarily granted to adults, they should seek experienced legal representation when facing serious criminal allegations.
Although the overarching purpose of the juvenile justice system is rehabilitation rather than punishment, the end result can still have severe and long-lasting consequences for a juvenile defendant. Our Tacoma juvenile defense lawyers know this is true even when the case remains in juvenile courts, as opposed to being transferred to the adult system.
This is apparent in the recently affirmed guilty adjudication in the case of Washington v. Gonzalez, before the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division Three. The defendant, just 13 years old when he was initially accused of three counts of first-degree rape of a child, now has a criminal record that is public and available for all to see well into his adulthood.