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When did “Playing Doctor” Become “Juvenile Sexual Offending”?

The story often starts like this:  Your child was having sexual contact with a younger child.  You take your child for counseling to address the issue, or one of the children involved tells a trusted adult (such as a parent or teacher) about the incident.  The counselor or adult then calls the police.  Before you know it, your child is charged with a Juvenile Sexual Offense.  Your child is being treated like a "Sex Offender" and may be locked up in a juvenile detention facility, placed in a group home, or required to live with friends or relatives while the charges are pending.  What do you do?

Answer:  You need to contact a lawyer who has extensive experience with juvenile sex crimes immediately.  Juvenile Sex Offenses are some of the most serious offenses that are addressed in juvenile court.  Conviction for some Juvenile Sexual Offenses can result in community notification, school notification and even sex offender registration requirements.  Some Juvenile Sex Offenses can be transferred to adult court, where adult penalties apply.  Even if retained in juvenile court, some juvenile sex offenses can stay on your child's record well into adulthood.

Years ago when many of today's parents were growing up, sexual contact between children was dismissed as "just playing doctor."  Not so, anymore.  Now, children engaging in sexual acts with other children can find themselves charged with extremely serious sex crimes such as: Sexual Assault, Battery with Intent to Commit Sexual Assault, Lewdness with a Minor under Fourteen, Sexually-Motivated Coercion, Kidnapping, Open and Gross Lewdness or Lewd Conduct.

If your child finds him/herself charged with a Juvenile Sexual Offense like one of the crimes listed above, contact an experienced juvenile crimes attorney right away - do not delay.  The decisions you make early in the case can make a critical difference.