If your child is under 18 years of age, they might be sentenced through a different type of criminal justice system than the one that many others are aware of. Juvenile crimes are treated very seriously under the law and, if your juvenile committed a crime, you might wonder how things work.
First of all, who goes to juvenile court? Generally, anybody under 7 will not qualify for juvenile court. Depending on the crime, however, a parent could be held liable for the crime of their child. Somebody between the ages of 7 and 15 could be prime candidates for juvenile court. How is this decided?
The decision is not an easy one. A juvenile court officer is initially responsible for this decision after the juvenile has been detained by the police. They will move forward on the decision of dismissing the matter, handling the matter off the record, or filing formal charges depending on how serious the crime was.
If formal charges are made, here is what you can expect from your child’s case:
- An arraignment, where the minor will be formally charged in front of the judge
- The hearing, where it is decided if the juvenile will be charged normally or tried as an adult
- Entering a plea, which could make things proceed to trial
- Going to the actual trial to determine guilt or innocence
- Sentencing where appropriate
There are many aspects that determine whether or not formal charges are required in your juvenile’s case. This depends upon the severity of the crime, the minor’s attitude, past record or problems, evidence of wrongdoing, and more.
As you can see, there are many aspects that must be considered when it comes to your child’s case. This is a difficult time in your lives and you probably have many questions. We want to stand by your side when it comes to your case at the Law Office of Peter Blair. Call us today.