As of November 1, 2023, most juveniles will no longer have to register as a sex offender and be eligible to seal their convictions. Law enforcement will start removing eligible people from the registry soon and mailing letters confirming they have been removed. If you receive a letter indicating that you have been removed from the registry, please contact our office for a consultation to determine if you are eligible to seal your offense.

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Juvenile crime in Washington surged in 2023

On Behalf of | Feb 2, 2024 | Juvenile offenses |

Many people participate in some form of rebellious behavior as they go through adolescence. While most of this behavior is harmless, sometimes it can go a little too far and lead to regrettable actions. Juvenile crime is a concerning and ongoing problem in Washington. Unfortunately, it seems crime among the juvenile population is only getting worse here.

Dramatic crime increase

According to reports, King County saw a 61% increase in juvenile criminal bookings during 2023. In a recent interview, the juvenile operations manager for the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office said charges for car theft against youthful offenders increased by more than 500% in 2023. She also noted that serious felonies and violent crime also rose significantly last year.

Reportedly, in 2023, there were 631 bookings into juvenile detention compared to 416 in 2022. In Washington, juveniles are only booked into detention if they are accused of felonies and serious misdemeanors. The King County Superior Court Judge said a contributing factor for the increased crime could be the lack of residential treatment facilities for juveniles with mental health and substance use disorders in King County. The judge said youth who have severe mental health issues are a danger in the community and secure detention is not the answer.

Legal help for youthful offenders

Unfortunately, one bad decision made by a young person can impact them for the rest of their life. However, juveniles in Washington who have been charged with criminal offenses have the right to seek legal counsel. An experienced attorney can help determine a strategy to achieve the best possible outcome relative to the client’s specific situation.