The Southaven, MS Youth Court holds jurisdiction over all juvenile criminal matters in Desoto County.  These are cases where a juvenile (minors under the age of 18) is alleged to have committed a delinquent or criminal act.  If your son or daughter is charged with delinquency in Southaven or the surrounding area, you will be summoned to appear at the Youth Court located at 2535 Highway 51 South in Hernando.  Because of the seriousness of these crimes and the long-term effects they can have, you should contact a Mississippi juvenile criminal attorney to discuss the case. 

Juvenile crimes may include offenses such as shoplifting, assault, theft, drug or weapons possession, sex crimes, and even violent crimes such as robbery or attempted homicide.  Juveniles are usually treated differently than adults when charged with crimes.  The biggest difference between juveniles and adults in the criminal justice system is punishment and sentencing.  In Youth Court, juveniles are not convicted of their crimes; rather, they are found delinquent and usually given an alternative sentence.  This reflects the court’s philosophy of rehabilitating youths rather than punishing them. 

Not all youths go through this process, though.  For violent offenses such as armed robbery or murder, the minor may be tried as an adult.  If convicted, he or she could be facing a lengthy prison sentence.  For felony matters such as these it is essential that you seek out an experienced Southaven criminal defense lawyer. 

As a parent of a child charged with a crime, the biggest priority is making sure that your son’s or daughter’s future is not jeopardized by this incident.  This may require probation, community service, restitution, or other court-ordered conditions.  Your lawyer can see to it that the charge is dismissed, that it does not become a permanent conviction, and is later expunged.  Expunging the record of the case is important, as this will effectively clear it from the juvenile’s record and insure that it does not harm their prospects for school or work. 

How a Southaven Youth Court case is handled is going to depend on the facts.  Non-violent crimes like stealing will result in a less severe sentence than a violent crime such as aggravated assault.  Drug offenses may require outpatient or even inpatient treatment programs, or enrollment in Desoto County Youth Drug Court.  Sex crimes such as sexual battery will likely require counseling and therapy.  First-time offenders will be given less punitive sentences than repeat offenders. 

Patrick Stegall is a Southaven, MS juvenile crimes lawyer.  If your son or daughter has been charged with a crime in Desoto County, MS, Mr. Stegall can advise you and advocate for you.  He has helped numerous young men and women in criminal matters of all types.  Please contact him through email at, or by phone at (901)205-9894.

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