Juveniles that commit crimes represent a unique challenge for the legal
system. If someone is under the age of 18, they are not considered an
adult, and thereby are not necessarily accountable for their actions.
If someone under 18 commits a crime, they are to be held responsible for
their actions, usually in ways that seek to rehabilitate them for their
actions rather than punish.
What penalties may a juvenile crime incur?
Juvenile courts have a wider range of sentencing options than other courts.
In these courts, the judge develops the punishment that they feel will
help the juvenile learn and grow from their violation, not simply suffer
from it. This may involve periods of incarceration or other means of punishment
that keep the juvenile out of jail. Probation, for example, is one punishment
that does not require a juvenile spend time in jail but keeps the offender
accountable for their actions by checking in on their behavior.
In addition to probation, a juvenile offender can face:
- Verbal warnings
- House arrest
- Time at a juvenile detention facility
- Community service
- Electronic monitoring
These methods can be used in combination with others to create the best
sentencing option. As with any criminal offense, the past history of the
accused and other penalties they have incurred for other criminal charges
affect the outcome of the criminal case.
A juvenile also has the ability to appeal the decision granted by the court
if they find their punishment is unduly harsh. The sentencing can likewise
be altered if there is a change of circumstances that can better fit the
needs of the accused.
If your loved one is under the age of 18 and has been accused of a crime,
contact a criminal defense attorney right away. While children are subjected
to lighter penalties, what the court determines can affect a juvenile
for the rest of their lives. For a free case consultation, contact the
Law Offices of Joshua S. Davidson, PLC.