Juvenile law is the area of criminal law that deals with persons not of age being held responsible for criminal acts. Family court deals with juvenile delinquency. Unlike the criminal justice system which punishes adult offenders, the primary goal of the juvenile justice system is seeking rehabilitation. While juveniles under the age of 16 may be accused of the same crimes as an adult, with few exceptions, these cases are handled in family court. The court will consider more than just the crime involved, but will look at a juvenile’s family circumstance and school records and then take all these matters into consideration when formulating an appropriate disposition. Court proceedings tend to be a bit more informal than the typical adult prosecution. In most states, court records in juvenile cases are sealed so that no one from the public can access them. If after the case is tried in court the juvenile is determined to be guilty, he or she is adjudicated. Crimes committed by children, range from traffic violations and petty theft to more serious crimes such as rape or murder.

What is Juvenile delinquency?

Juvenile delinquency can be considered any crime committed by a person who is younger than the legal age. Statistics point to an increase in juvenile delinquency and it is believed that between 60-80% of teenagers have committed a crime at least once. When summoned to court, the child’s guardian must also be present. In some states, the parents can be held responsible for the child’s action. If your child commits a crime, depending on the state you live in, you may have to pay a fine, restitution money for the victim, court expenses, etc. If the offense is very serious, the child or teenager can be tried as an adult. Children who are condemned by a juvenile court may face different sentences. Some will have to be enrolled in reeducation programs, and some can be condemned to time in juvenile homes. In most of the cases, juvenile criminal records are confidential and are deleted when the child reaches the legal age. Final words If you are the parent of a troublesome child, you have to take immediate action! Give your child the attention he or she needs and try to get help from professionals. There are many resources that can help parents who are having trouble with children.

Prosecution

When a juvenile crime is reported, parents are contacted, and a hearing is scheduled. After the case is deemed worthy of prosecution, a court date is scheduled. Depending on the nature of the crime and many other factors, the child can be detained or released into the custody of their parents or guardians until the court date. Juveniles have the same constitutional rights as adults. These rights include the right to remain silent, the right to have an attorney present, the right to cross-examine any witnesses speaking against them and so on.

If you or a loved one is being accused of a juvenile crime, please contact The Curry Law Group. Please let our experienced attorneys represent you. Our firm services the entire Tampa Bay Area and look forward to representing you. We invite you to fill out the form on this page or call our office today.