Often a minor will have a mischievous streak, but sometimes this goes too far leading to criminal activity. Since minors have a higher chance of rehabilitation, there are special rules and procedures to handle this type of crime. These young criminals will not go to jail or a penitentiary like a regular adult would. The laws are governed differently from state to state so it is important to always be educated on your state's laws.
When a minor is arrested due to criminal activity, this will result in a felony or misdemeanor offense. Juvenile delinquent activity can lead to the suspension of a driver's license, the paying of a fine, community service, ordering counseling, probation, home confinement, placement in a relative's home or a foster group, and even incarceration in juvenile corrections. Depending on the crime, if it is an act that is so severe, it can lead the minor in adult jail or state prison.
When detaining a minor, the police do not need to personally witness the event to take the juvenile into custody. They simply just need probable cause. They have the ability to detain the minor and warn them about the consequences of committing the crime. They can detain the individual and hold this minor until the minor's parents or guardians have arrived. They can then release the minor. The last option that they have the power to do is to take the minor into custody and refer the minor to a juvenile court officer.
It is important to know that the age of the child will make an impact on what happens as a result of their crime. If a child is under the age of 7 years old, they can't be tried. Their parents may be liable if an incident had occurred though. If the child is between the ages of 7 years old and 15 years old, then they are prime candidates for juvenile court.
If charges are actually filed against a minor, you will have to go through the court process. You can expect that the minor will be formally charged before a juvenile judge. The court will then take jurisdiction over the case. If the juvenile is tried as an adult, the judge will set a hearing to decide if this is an appropriate option. The minor will then enter a plea, and depending on this plea, they may proceed to trial. The judge will most likely be the one deciding whether the defendant is innocent or guilty. If the crime you have committed is truly your act, then you will sentenced. The sentence will vary depending on the crime. After this, the defendant may have to come back to court periodically to make sure they are on the right track.
If your son or daughter has been accused of a crime, they are going to need an experienced criminal defense lawyer in court. Remember it is always key to remind your son or daughter to always be polite if they need to appear in court. It is often important to show the court that you want to make a change and do better in the future.
Check out the following sources for more information about juvenile crime.