Juvenile Court Law

Juvenile Court Legal Issues:

Juvenile Court - Criminal Law

If you are the parent of a minor, a child under the legal age of being an adult, it is likely that any criminal charges will be heard in Juvenile Court. Juvenile court is specifically meant for children or adolescents, because crimes committed by children and minors are treated differently to the same crimes committed by adults.

In California and all but four other states anyone who commits a crime before his 17th or 18th birthday is processed as a juvenile. In North Carolina and New York, the minimum age limit that a person can be charged as an adult is 16. In Illinois, Michigan and Texas the minimum age limit is 17 and in some states such as Washington, the minimum age depends on the seriousness of the crime.

Although juvenile crimes are not processed the same as adults, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that children under the fourteenth amendment accused of crimes in a delinquency proceeding must be given many of the same due process rights as adults such as the right to timely notification of charges, the right to confront witnesses, the right against self-incrimination, and the right to counsel.

Does a child have a right to a jury trial?

A significant difference between being charged with a crime as a juvenile versus an adult is that children do not have the right to a jury trial in juvenile court adjudication. All trials are done by a juvenile judge acting in the role of jurors.

This makes a world of difference in bringing a criminal case to trail. In criminal trials, defense attorneys are able to present evidence that can sway any 1 of 12 jurors from finding their client guilty. In Juvenile courts the only person who takes evidence into consideration and has a final ruling is the juvenile court judge.

Benefits of working with a Juvenile Defense Lawyer

Minors in the justice system have constitutional rights that have to be followed and having a Juvenile Defense Lawyer present can make sure their rights are exercised. A defense attorney can ensure a minor was read their Miranda Rights at the time of their arrest; the minor was voluntarily questioned without their parents being present and can verify that school interrogations were done according to the law.

Being the parent of a child who is accused of a crime can be stressful because your child's future is at stake. If your child is found guilty you may have to pay hefty fines, your child can be placed on probation or can even be placed in a juvenile detention center. Hiring an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney with experience in Juvenile crimes can ensure that your child does not become lost in the Juvenile court system. A Juvenile Defense Attorney can negotiate a plea with the District Attorney so that your child may complete community service rather then serving time in a juvenile detention center. If the District Attorney is unwilling to negotiate or the conditions to their plea agreement seem unfair, a defense lawyer can litigate your child's case in front of a Juvenile Court Judge so that a ruling according to the law can be determined.

Lawyer Referral Service

If your child is being accused or investigated for a crime, contact Attorney Search Network today for a free lawyer referral. A Juvenile Defense Lawyer can explain your rights and assist you with questions police might try to ask you.

If you have any questions about the information provided above, please contact us. Call us toll free at (800) 215-1190 or fill out our online form for your Juvenile lawyer referral.


If you have any questions about the information provided above, please contact Attorney Search Network.

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