Juvenile Offenses

Juvenile delinquency, or youth crime, is participation in illegal behavior by individuals younger than the statutory age of majority. A juvenile delinquent is a person who is typically under the age of 18 and commits an act that otherwise would have been charged as a crime if they were an adult. Depending on the type and severity of the offense committed, it is possible for persons under 18 to be charged and tried as adults. Juvenile offenses are not regarded as crimes and are usually handled in juvenile courts and juvenile corrections with an exception whereby the juvenile case is transferred to an adult court only after a full hearing.

If you or a loved one is facing a Juvenile criminal offense and need legal representation, the Law Office of Karla Y. Campos-Andersen ESQ. P.A. can advice you on all matters related to Juvenile Offenses

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Juvenile Court has their own set of rules, although the laws of the offense(s) are the same as adults. Sentencing of Juveniles also differ from adults. Even though a case may be resolved in Juvenile Court it must be treated just as seriously as if it were in adult court, because the repercussions can impact the rest of the minor child’s life.

Does one have a right to a lawyer on juvenile offenses?

When facing a juvenile offense, an experienced lawyer can help the juvenile answer questions and avoid incriminating him or her self. The interrogation methods and questions asked by the police can be challenging, and it is important to have a lawyer present in these situations. It’s advisable not to give any information or answer any questions without the presence of a lawyer. If one cannot afford a lawyer, one is provided by the court free. A juvenile intake officer or a probation officer is assigned to every person charged with a juvenile offense.

How can I avoid a trial?

One can avoid going to the court by admitting to have committed the offense and explaining the reasons for this. One may be required to abide by certain given conditions. This is termed as an informal adjustment. If one denies the charges, a first hearing is scheduled, which is basically for the lawyer to try and negotiate on the client’s behalf to get a fair disposition and avoid a trial. In case it is decided the offense will be handled in the juvenile court, one may either be released to go home and promise the court to show up on the date of the hearing or one may be detained in a juvenile center until the date of the hearing.

What are the penalties for Juvenile offenses?

When one is taken to court and admits to the offenses, one is adjudicating and a disposition follows. Probation is the most common disposition, but it can include a period of time in a detention facility.

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