27 Jul 23

Juvenile Crimes, Delinquency & Youthful Offender Proceedings: Juvenile Delinquency FAQ

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Last Updated on: 13th August 2023, 04:10 am

After being charged as a juvenile delinquent, there are a few questions that you might have. If the person who has been charged is a child or relative, then you might not understand exactly what could happen in court after the charges have been filed and during the sentencing process. Most juvenile cases are treated in a different manner than cases that involve adults because of the age of the defendant. The Administration for Children’s Services is usually responsible for bringing charges against juveniles and will often handle the aspects of the case. It’s important to seek the assistance of an attorney who can represent you in court as this can be a sensitive time for all parties who are involved. Some of the questions that you might have not only should be addressed but must be addressed so that you understand the process of going to court and following through with the sentence given as there are some crimes that could result in being charged as an adult if there is enough evidence present.

Beginnings Of A Juvenile Case
Most of the time, juvenile delinquency cases begin when officers receive information pertaining to a child who is acting out in school or at home. Victims can file claims against the juvenile that can result in the arrest of the child or the questioning of the child. The juvenile is often taken through a different criminal justice process that involves Child Protective Services or Family Court depending on the issue.

Where Cases Are Heard
After officers have arrested a juvenile and proceeded with filing charges or complaints, then the child is taken to Family Court. Although this is a courtroom similar to where adults are heard in front of a judge, there aren’t as many people in the room as most of those who are present are there for the best interests of the juvenile. If the charges would be considered criminal in an adult court, then this is where the case will be heard. Sometimes, juveniles who are over the age of 16 will be sent to a court similar to that of an adult court where the charges will be heard with the possible results being similar to the outcome of an adult proceeding.

Release Details
One of the important questions that you need to ask your attorney is how the release will be handled after the hearing is over. Sometimes, juveniles are released to go home the same day if the charges or complaints aren’t serious. However, there is a possibility that the juvenile could be sentenced to a detention facility where other juveniles are located. Another option is probation, which means that the juvenile has to abide by certain rules and regulations that are set forth by the court for a certain length of time. If the juvenile isn’t a threat to himself or other people, then it’s possible that the child could be released to go home until the court hearing after charges or complaints are filed. While at home, the juvenile needs to be monitored, and you need to stay in contact with the attorney handling the case so that the best defense can be presented in court.

There are various sentences that could be delivered in Family Court if a juvenile is found guilty. If the juvenile doesn’t have a record or if the charges are minimal, then the judge could issue a warning or place the juvenile on probation. However, severe charges could lead to spending time in a juvenile facility or jail. If the child is found as a juvenile delinquent, it doesn’t mean that the person is considered a criminal. A mistake was made. Older children who are adjudicated in an adult court don’t have the charges on their criminal record, which means that they don’t have to live with the paper trail of consequences. However, if the juvenile pleads guilty, accepts a plea, or is found guilty because there is enough evidence linking the child to the charges, then there will usually be a criminal conviction. This means that the charge can stay on the criminal record until the child reaches the age of an adult or until the charges are expunged.