Stories of Hope

Convincing the court system to help a troubled teen

When troubled 14-year-old Tim was accused of serious criminal charges against a younger child, his family knew it was life-altering. They had recently adopted Tim, knowing his background of neglect and abuse. They were determined to stick by him, providing the support and unconditional caring he never knew from his natural parents.

They needed a lawyer who would tell a story about Tim’s struggles with his own abuse and how that  led to the charges he now faced. He needed to be recognized by the court system not just as a perpetrator of crime, but as a young man damaged by circumstances beyond his control. He deserved a second chance in the justice system.

While the legal system found Tim committed the charges against him, and significant punishment was invovled, the Court and the prosecutor acknowledged he deserved a second chance. The punishment for his actions was in a strong rehabilitative structure. Most of his sanctions were geared toward helping him overcome his own abuse and trauma. Tim would learn the social skills that would lead him away from future offending and toward being a healthy and productive member of society.

Tim underwent treatment and periods of confinement, but by 17, he was able to go home. He returned to high school, made friends, and graduated. He continued treatment and grew closer to his extended adoptive family. He recently began applying to colleges and hopes to achieve a lifetime goal that—at the age of 14—would have been unimaginable: Earn a college degree and the skills necessary to live a happy and successful adult life.

* All names changed to protect our client’s privacy.