Is your child facing juvenile delinquency charges? If so, then you’re probably worried about a lot of things. You’re probably concerned about getting your kid out of detention or preventing him or her from going to detention, and you’ve probably got broader concerns about what this case means for his or her future. Deep down, you might even have concerns about the bigger problems confronting your child, and you may want to seek help for them.
This might put you and your child in a difficult spot. After all, you might want to admit that your child needs help, but you certainly don’t want to admit to any problems that might negatively impact your child’s future. The good news is that the juvenile justice system is different from the adult criminal system. While adult criminal court seeks to punish and then rehabilitate, juvenile court primarily is focused on helping delinquent children so that they can live productive lives moving forward.
The statutory scheme regarding confidentiality highlights this focus. Under Louisiana law, juvenile delinquency court records cannot be released without court approval. Children who are adjudicated as delinquent may also receive extensive services, and reports stemming from those services are usually protected by confidentiality provisions contained in other laws, like HIPPA and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
Of course, this isn’t to say that you and your child should just sit back and accept a plea deal offered by the prosecution. In fact, you might have a number of criminal defense options at your disposal. But deciding which course of action is right for your child is dependent upon the circumstances at hand and what you and your child want for the future. Therefore, if you want a more personalized assessment of your case, including an in-depth look at how confidentiality can protect your child’s future, then it might be time to consult with an attorney of your choosing.