A lot of the information we get about crime and the criminal justice system comes from television shows. Teenagers may get a sense of what may happen if they are faced with criminal charges and may feel they understand how the criminal system works.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation that may come from these shows because they are, in fact, fiction. A lot of television shows make it seem like asking for an attorney implies that you have something to hide. So it makes sense that a Virginia teenager, when faced with a criminal charge and pushy investigators, may feel scared to ask for an attorney.
No matter the severity of the charge, it can be very helpful to have an attorney by your side. This is true no matter the individual’s age. When it comes to juveniles or those under the age of 21, a criminal charge can have a lasting impact for the rest of their lives. It can impact that person's ability to seek employment or even housing.
It’s important to take any charge seriously due to its potential consequences. While a teenager may feel that their honesty will get them a lighter sentence or that police will believe that they are innocent, most people understand that that is not always the case. Numerous people, regardless of age, have been wrongfully convicted or have received punishment that in no way fit the crime. Even if a teen is only asked to pay fines related to their charge, they may have to face much worse consequences related to college applications and job interviews later on in life.