200,000 minors are prosecuted each year for offenses ranging from stealing and vandalism to assault, sexual assaults, and other severe felonies, according to the US Department of Justice. However, because these folks are still minors who may not completely comprehend the laws and consequences of their conduct, the criminal justice system treats them differently than adults. As they have a separate set of constitutional protections than adults, juveniles risk less severe punishments than adults who commit the same offense. The court must follow sentencing rules that safeguard the child’s interests when punishing a juvenile for a crime. If a kid is charged with a crime, a competent criminal defense attorney will examine the facts of the case and advise on the best legal plan of action.
Who is a Juvenile?
A juvenile is defined as a person aged 10 to 18 who performs unlawful conduct in their respective state. Children under the age of ten are not allowed to participate in the juvenile justice system. In some cases, a minor may be considered an adult. A minor with a history of delinquent behavior or who refuses to cooperate in rehabilitation activities may be prosecuted as an adult.
Justice System for Adult vs. Juvenile
There are substantial disparities between adult and juvenile offenses, which will have a big influence on how the court handles the case and the penalty that the child who committed the crime will get. Some major differentiations are as follows:
In a criminal case involving an adult, a charge is filed, but in a juvenile case, a petition is submitted.
Crimes vs. delinquent behavior: Adults are found guilty of a crime, whereas children are found guilty of doing delinquent conduct in juvenile court.
Adults who are convicted of any crime are convicted. The perpetrator is classified as an adjudicated delinquent if he or she is a minor.
Disposition versus sentence: When an adult perpetrator is found to be guilty of a criminal issue, a sentencing hearing will be held to decide the punishment. The sentence will be determined by a disposition in juvenile court. Juveniles, unlike adults, cannot be sentenced to life in prison for heinous offenses.
No jury: Juries are not used in juvenile court trials. Although the trials will take less time, the youngster will not profit from the use of numerous fact finders. Furthermore, rather than having to persuade a complete jury, the prosecution just has to persuade a judge of the child’s guilt. Bail is not available to juveniles either.
Location of disposition: All hearings in adult cases take place in the county where the offender was accused, which is generally where the offense occurred. A juvenile lawsuit is heard in the county where the offense was committed. Unless the kid resides in a different county, the matter will be tried there.
Punishment vs. rehabilitation Instead of focusing primarily on punishment, the justice system makes a determined attempt to take efforts to rehabilitate the youngster. To assist the kid to achieve enduring, beneficial changes, the system stresses treatment alternatives, counseling, and education