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Options for Sentencing Juvenile Criminal Offenders

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
  • Fines
  • Counseling
  • 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.

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