Family lawyers who represent juveniles in criminal matters in Family Court must be aware of New York State’s Criminal Procedure Law, Penal Law, and Family Court Act. When the police stop and arrest someone and there is a search and seizure issue, the prosecution is held to the same burden in Family Court as in Criminal Court. In the recent case of Re Reggie T., decided September 30, 2014, the Appellate Division, First Department held that the Family Court properly granted the respondent’s motion to suppress physical evidence since the police lacked the “requisite suspicion to justify pursuing the respondent. The respondent did not match a description and the radio message lacked any detailed information. Pursuit of the respondent was not proper.”
In another recent case, a Queens judge removed a juvenile offender matter from Supreme Court to Family Court because it would serve the “interests of justice.” People v. Robert C., decided October 3, 2014. The court held that the Family Court would provide more appropriate treatment to the defendant then the continuation of the criminal prosecution.
At times there are cases which may start out in Criminal Court, but get removed and sent to Family Court. Family Court can offer a wide variety of treatment and therapeutic programs which aim to assist the child.
As both Family Court lawyers who regularly defend juveniles and criminal lawyers, you can be assured that we will inform you of your child’s rights and work to protect them.