If your loved one under 18 has committed a crime, then they will be charged through the juvenile justice system and not the regular criminal justice system. If you or a loved one is a juvenile and committed a crime of theft, they will be charged through the juvenile justice system. Juveniles are not considered criminals under the law, but instead delinquents. It is a way for the justice system to establish that juveniles are not legal adults, which means that they are not capable of making their own decisions. Today we will take a look at juvenile theft and burglary, and what you should expect.
Theft and Burglary
Theft: Theft includes a wide variety of crimes that involve taking someone else’s property with the intent to deprive them of it. If this element is met, and the defendant had no intent to give the item back, then a juvenile could be charged. The value of the property will usually determine whether or not a juvenile is charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. The court will use this determination to apply a sentence they feel is right.
Burglary: When somebody enters a structure with the intent to commit a crime, a burglary occurs. As long as a person had the intent to do so, they can be charged with juvenile burglary.
How Are Juvenile Crimes Punished?
If you or a loved one committed a juvenile crime of theft or burglary, you may see a wide variety of penalties, including the following:
- Fines: In some cases, juvenile fines do not exist. In others, they are usually small to teach a lesson.
- Restitution: If theft or damage to a property occurred, restitution for victims may be required. In some cases, this means that a juvenile must maintain employment to pay off the restitution.
- Counseling: Counseling or therapy may be required, depending on the crime.
- Probation: Probation could take place from a period of several months or more. This means that a juvenile will have to comply with certain conditions.
- Detention: A juvenile may be sentenced to a youth-service program, weekend detention program, or full-time detention.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a juvenile crime of theft or burglary, you may have questions. These crimes are considered to be very serious, but we can help. All hope is not lost, so give us a call.