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Juvenile Crime Attorney in Willoughby, OH

When your child is facing criminal offense charges in the greater Cleveland area, turn to our legal team at Fortress Law Group for an experienced juvenile crime attorney.
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Why Choose Fortress Law Group?

Extensive Experience – Established in 2009, our firm has represented thousands of clients in various kinds of criminal cases. Our criminal defense attorneys make sure each client is diligently represented and protected throughout the trial.


Professional and Reliable – We value the trust and confidence each client gives us. The criminal justice system is complex, but we are dedicated to guiding you throughout the process to ensure your rights are protected.


Comprehensive Criminal Defense – Our team of attorneys is knowledgeable and up to date with all the relevant case laws and procedural rules in court and will ensure all your bases are covered.


Flexible Consultation Times – Facing a criminal charge is a serious matter. You must communicate with a lawyer as soon as possible. That’s why our communication lines – online and via phone – are available for clients to reach out to us at any time.

Sealing or Expunging a Juvenile Record

A juvenile defense attorney may be able to help you request the sealing or expunging of your juvenile record under certain conditions.

If requesting to seal a juvenile record, one of the following must be true:

  • The juvenile must have completed a diversion program
  • Parties must have resolved the issue before the filing of a complaint against the juvenile
  • The court must have dismissed the case

Two years after the final disposition, the juvenile may request sealing, barring certain offenses.

The court will automatically expunge a sealed record five years after sealing or when the offender turns 23. If your record isn’t sealed, you may apply for expungement, barring certain offenses.

Common Juvenile Offenses in Ohio

Typical juvenile offenses in Ohio include traffic offenses, underage OVI (operating a vehicle under the influence), drug and alcohol possession, theft, trespassing, destruction of property, and violent crimes.

Contact us today at Fortress Law Group, LLC, to schedule a consultation with one of our juvenile crime attorneys in Willoughby or Cleveland, OH, and the surrounding areas.

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Related FAQs

Juvenile Crimes

What are the potential penalties for a juvenile conviction (adjudication and disposition)?

Juvenile offenses in Ohio range from minor offenses to serious crimes. If your child receives adjudication and disposition (sentencing) in juvenile court, they could face any of several outcomes, including:

  • House arrest (except for school, work, community service, or counseling if ordered by the court)
  • Juvenile detention
  • Secure holding in a juvenile offender facility
  • If convicted as an adult, county jail or state prison
  • “Blended sentencing” to start in juvenile detention and transfer to an adult facility

Can the courts try a juvenile as an adult in Ohio?

Under certain circumstances, the state may try a juvenile as an adult for especially severe offenses. If a young person over the age of 16 is facing charges for murder, aggravated murder, or a felony sex offense, or if they used a firearm to commit the crime, the courts may try them as an adult.

If a young person age 14 or older is committed to a Department of Youth Services facility, the courts may also decide to try them as an adult for a serious offense. Other circumstances on a case-by-case basis may necessitate the court to try a juvenile as an adult.

Can a defendant file an appeal for a juvenile conviction?

Juvenile defendants have just as much right to file an appeal for a conviction as an adult. There is a time limit for juvenile attorneys to file an appeal, so consider if you want to retain the same juvenile crimes lawyer or if you want to retain a new attorney for the appeal.

Do juvenile defendants have the same rights as an adult in court?

While juveniles have many of the same rights as adults, one significant difference is that juveniles do not have the right to a trial by jury. Instead, their juvenile crimes attorney must present their arguments directly to a judge.

Is juvenile court a criminal court for minors?

Juvenile defendants don’t face criminal charges for offenses in juvenile court. Juvenile court is part of the civil court system. However, if tried as an adult, they will face criminal charges in a jury trial.

Should we hire a juvenile crimes lawyer for our child’s case?

Not just any Ohio criminal defense attorney is suitable to represent a child in juvenile court. Matthew C. Bangerter, an experienced juvenile crimes attorney with our firm at Fortress Law Group in Cleveland Metro, can review your child’s case and help you build a defense. Call our offices at (440) 340-1740 to schedule a case review.

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At Fortress Law Group, we want to provide you with a clear understanding of the criminal charges you may be facing and their implications for your future. We maintain a collection of resources to educate and prepare you for effective coordination with your legal team.

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Matthew C. Bangerter, Esq.

As a former Assistant Prosecutor in Lake County Ohio, Cleveland criminal defense attorney Matthew C. Bangerter, ESQ. has experience with the strategies used by prosecutors to pursue their cases. As a member of the Ohio Bar Association, Lake County Bar Association, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Cuyahoga Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and the Board of Directors of the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, he takes his profession as a Cleveland criminal defense attorney seriously and ensures that he is up to date with the latest case law and trial strategies.

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Whether you’re charged with a DUI, misdemeanor, or felony, the prospect of facing trial is stressful. Worse, there’s also the possibility of jail time if things don’t go well for you in court. To help you face these legal adversities, you need an attorney who can work on an effective defense strategy and make sure your civil rights are upheld throughout the process. A Willoughby criminal appeals attorney at Fortress Law Group, LLC provides clients with comprehensive legal representation from trial to appeal, if needed.
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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.
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