A juvenile offender is a minor who has commited a crime. These young offenders
face different consequences than adults for the same crime. Juvenile court
may be more lenient, but it also may be stricter than criminal courts.
Usually, juvenile offenders will not face the jail time that they would
as an adult for their crime.
Juvenile court handles civil, not criminal, petitions, and if a minor has
been found guilty of a crime, they are subject to the court’s jurisdiction.
It is at the court’s discretion to sentence the minor to formal
or informal probation, placement in foster care, enrollment in a juvenile
offender school, or commitment to the state’s juvenile detention
center. This detention center, sometimes called “Juvenile Hall,”
is the closest to a prison sentence a juvenile offender can receive. Juveniles
can be committed until they come of age, which may be as late as 21 or
25 years old, depending on the state laws. In Minnesota, a minor’s
sentence can be stayed until they turn 21.
Certifying Minors as Adults
In some cases, the court may wish to try a minor as an adult. There are
some limitations to this process. The minor must be between 14 and 17
years old, has allegedly committed a crime that would result in a prison
sentence as an adult, and probable cause has been found that the minor
committed the crime. After a juvenile civil petition has been filed, the
state must notify the juvenile, their guardians, and their attorney of
the intention to move to have the minor certified to be tried as an adult.
A certification study will be performed, in which the juvenile’s
emotional health, maturity, education, support network, and other factors
will be examined. Separate from the criminal trial, a certification hearing
will be used to determine if the child can be tried as an adult. If it
can be shown that proceeding with the case in juvenile court does not
serve the public’s safety, the trial may be transferred to an adult
criminal court. If the minor is tried as an adult, they may be subject
to imprisonment, according to the adult penalties of their crime.
If your child is facing charges, you need dedicated legal representation.
juvenile crime attorneys will fight to ensure your child receives a fair hearing and
is tried appropriately.
Contact Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A. to learn how we can help.