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Juvenile Defense

No parent wants to see their child accused of committing a crime. No parent wants their child brought before a judge to answer to a criminal complaint. For the child, the experience can be traumatizing. The stress and anxiety of having a case in the Juvenile Court can be significant for everyone involved. It is important to have the guidance of a qualified Middlesex County Juvenile Court attorney.

Attorney Sam Zaganjori understands the Massachusetts Juvenile Court. He has seen it from every angle. He previously served as a law clerk to the judges of the Juvenile Court. He has handled juvenile delinquency cases and Youthful Offender cases as a prosecutor and as a defense attorney. If your child has been charged in the Juvenile Court or has been summoned for a clerk-magistrate hearing, contact Attorney Sam Zaganjori today.

The Jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Juvenile Court

The Juvenile Court has jurisdiction over any case involving a person 17-years-old or younger who is accused of committing a crime, with the exception of murder. Juvenile court proceedings closely resemble adult court and the child has the same fundamental rights as an adult. Yet there are many practices and procedures that are unique to the Juvenile Court. It is important to have a Massachusetts Juvenile Court attorney that understands how the court works.

Delinquency Complaints

When a juvenile is accused of a crime, they are usually charged with a delinquency complaint. Importantly, a juvenile delinquency case is not considered a criminal case. A juvenile cannot be “convicted” of a delinquency complaint. Instead, a juvenile can be “adjudicated delinquent.”

Although a delinquency complaint is non-criminal, the process looks very much like adult court. A juvenile accused of a crime has the right to an attorney and to see the evidence against him. He has the right to a trial before a jury or a judge. If the juvenile selects a jury trial, the jury will consist of a minimum of six people who will determine if he committed the offense.

The philosophy in the Juvenile Court is to emphasize rehabilitation over punishment. Many delinquency cases can be resolved with probation and court-ordered conditions aimed at keeping the child on the right track. However, Juvenile Court judges can sentence a child to the custody of the Department of Youth Services (“DYS”), which can involve the child being committed to a juvenile detention facility.

Youthful Offender Indictments

In certain cases, Massachusetts law allows for juveniles to be indicted as Youthful Offenders. A Youthful Offender can be given the same sentence that an adult could get for the crime, including a sentence to State Prison.

The prosecution can seek a Youthful Offender indictment if the child is at least 14-years-old, has committed a felony and one of the following conditions are met:

  • The child was previously committed to DYS,
  • The child has committed an offense involving the infliction or threat of serious bodily harm in violation of law, or
  • The child has committed certain firearms offenses
Middlesex County Juvenile Court Lawyer

Attorney Sam Zaganjori knows the Juvenile Court. He served as a law clerk to Juvenile Court judges in the counties of Middlesex, Essex and Norfolk. As a law clerk, he worked closely with the judges of the court. He wrote legal opinions, observed trials and conducted extensive legal research. He developed a keen understanding of the practice of the Juvenile Court. He brings this unique experience to every case in the Juvenile Court.

He has continued to handle juvenile matters, first as a prosecutor and now as a Massachusetts Juvenile Court lawyer. For example, Attorney Zaganjori represented a 17-year-old who had been charged with felony sex offenses in the Superior Court under the prior version of a Massachusetts law which said that 17-year-olds were to be charged in adult court. Attorney Zaganjori prepared a motion to dismiss and successfully argued that the case should have been brought in the Juvenile Court. The motion was allowed and the case transferred to the Juvenile Court. The charges were later dismissed.

Call a Juvenile Court Attorney

Attorney Sam Zaganjori is a Woburn attorney that represents juveniles in delinquency and Youthful Offender cases. He represents clients in the Juvenile Court throughout eastern Massachusetts. He offers a free consultation. He will meet with you and your child as soon as possible. He will explain the process and the best course of action. He will aggressively defend your child and treat him or her with compassion and patience. If your child has been charged in the Juvenile Court or has been summoned for a clerk-magistrate hearing, call Attorney Zaganjori today at 781-496-2848.