Juvenile Criminal Defense Is Different

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Juvenile crime can be difficult to understand, as it differs significantly from criminal law. If you have a child who is due to appear in juvenile court, you may wonder what their case looks like. How will their situation differ from an adult's?

These are some of the questions you might have as a parent of a child who needs a juvenile criminal lawyer.

First, Who Exactly Is a Juvenile?

Juveniles are people under the age of 18. In the sense of criminal law, juveniles are those who are not able to be tried as an adult. In cases where a minor will be tried as an adult for a violent crime, they will not be in juvenile court.

Juveniles face different consequences compared to adults. Additionally, they typically are accused of delinquent acts, hence the term juvenile delinquent, rather than crimes. They also face different types of trials. They are typically referred to as hearings and may be closed to the public unless there are special circumstances.

What Rights Does a Juvenile Have in Court?

Juveniles have different rights than adults in the court system. For one, juveniles do not have the right to a jury trial. In these cases, the judge will make the decision. Additionally, juveniles have the right to post bail or to have all the details made public. When a juvenile becomes an adult, their records are typically sealed so they cannot be brought back to light. This allows a child to have a typically normal entry to adulthood without dwelling on the mistakes of their youth.

What Consequences Can a Juvenile Face?

Juveniles can face a variety of consequences. The judge determines what is safe for society and what will benefit the child most. The judge also determines what action will be most rehabilitative for the child so that they can live productively as adults later.

Can You Get a Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer?

If your child is facing a delinquency charge or another juvenile offense, you should speak with a lawyer who understands juvenile offenses. A lawyer understands state and federal law as they pertain to juveniles. A lawyer will protect the rights of your child and ensure that he or she has the representation they need.

If your child is facing a criminal court charge, speak with a lawyer right away to ensure you have the representation your child needs. Consult with a juvenile criminal lawyer today to learn more.