A juvenile delinquent faces the same type of charge as an adult. Juvenile crimes include theft, burglary, trespassing, driving under the influence, possession charges, battery, assault, etc. A juvenile charged with certain felony offense may be charged as an adult.
There are no jury trials in juvenile court. A juvenile trial is conducted before a judge who listens to the evidence and decides guilt or innocence. If found delinquent (guilty), the case disposition can range from probation to comittment in cetain state run programs outside the home. Probation is similar to that rendered in adult case dispositions in that the juvenile faces certain restrictions on his/her activities, will most likely have to complete certain classes, attend necessary counseling, complete community service hours and pay any necessary restitution. However, unlike adult probation, most juvenile probation requires mandatory curfew and school attendance. Just like with an adult, a juvenile who violates probation faces harsher penalties, and, depending on the nature of the violation and the juvenile’s history, he or she may be committed to a residential program. If the juvenile was charged as an adult, upon a finding of guilt, the juvenile faces the possibility of adult sanctions.
A juvenile faced with a charge may benefit from a juvenile diversion program.
This program diverts the case away from the courts to a State run program suited to the needs of the child. Upon successful completion of the program, the State relinquishes the charges against the child. However, if the child does not successfully complete the program, the charges will continue in court.
Despite common belief, a juvenile record can have devastating consequences to your child’s future.
The consequences of a delinquent finding include:
- Suspension from school;
- License or learner permit suspension for certain charges such as drug or alcohol related charges or grand theft auto charges;
- Inability to serve in the military if charged with certain offenses (eg. domestic violence);
- Inability to lawfully possess a firearm until 24 years of age (if the charge was a felony).
As with Adult charges, the State has the burden of proving the charges against your child. We will investigate the circumstances of the charge to determine appropriate defenses and mitigating circumstances for your child.
Contact us today for a review of your child’s case.