If your child is going through the juvenile system it is important to remember that he or she might be adjudicated delinquent but that does not necessarily mean the child needs probation or placement. Before an adjudication of delinquency, not only must the Commonwealth provide beyond a reasonable doubt that the juvenile committed a delinquent act but it must also prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the juvenile is in need of treatment supervision, and rehabilitation.
On May 4, 2018, Senate Bill 844 was signed into law. This law gives grandparents and third-parties clarification in custody matters of minor children. The intent of this law was to help children that have parents that are involved with drugs and the criminal justice system. I believe the Courts will see an increase in custody filings because of this new law. Please contact the Law Office of Natalie Burston if you are interested in filing a custody matter in the state of Pennsylvania. You might now have the ability to initiate a custody action when you previously did not have standing to initiate a filing.
In 2015, I represented a minor that was direct filed into the adult system. His main charge was attempted homicide. The trial court decertified (kept him in the juvenile court system) and the appellate court affirmed the trial court's ruling. The Superior Court of Pennsylvania did a great job outlining the statutory factors for decertification. Today, I was reading the opinion before sending the case to a colleague. I attached the Opinion for your review.