In some situations, where the juvenile offender has been charged with a serious crime, the case may be moved to an adult court from a juvenile court.
A criminal offender who is not yet an adult is called a juvenile offender. The age at which an individual may be tried as an adult differs from one state to another, but usually it is the age of 17 or under18. The age limit may be lowered in exceptionally serious offenses such as sexual assault or homicide.
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A criminal charge is a serious charge and will have a drastic effect on a minors future. It is important to seek out legal representation, contact Fort Lauderdale Juvenile Delinquent Attorney William Moore.
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Juvenile Court Proceeding
A juvenile who has been charged with a criminal offense will be sent to a juvenile court. The aim of the juvenile court is primarily to rehabilitate the delinquent juvenile rather than mete out punishment. The juvenile court is typically provided with wide discretion to pass a sentence in accordance with the needs of the juvenile offender. However, this does not mean that juvenile offenders are not sent to prison.
A number of states have major juvenile prisons and reform facilities. If the juvenile court finds a young offender to be particularly dangerous to the society, it may pass a sentence of imprisonment, irrespective of the offender’s age.
Fort Lauderdale Juvenile Delinquent Attorney Moore Discusses Rights of a Juvenile Offender
A juvenile offender may have certain rights when presented in the court, and such rights may vary from one state to another. Juvenile offenders obtain the right to trial by jury in some of the states, while in others such a right may not exist. A juvenile court is usually less formal compared to an adult court. The rules of evidence in a juvenile court may be more relaxed. The court may hear such evidence to assess the juvenile’s delinquent act, which would normally not be admissible in an adult court.
Trial in an Adult Court
In some situations, where the juvenile offender has been charged with a serious crime, the case may be moved to an adult court from a juvenile court. This may be a discretionary waiver to adult court, if the prosecution files a motion to seek the trial of the young offender as an adult. The judge may conduct a hearing to evaluate evidence for and against such a waiver, and decide whether it is appropriate to try the juvenile offender as an adult. In some cases, the waiver may be mandatory, whereby the juvenile offender must be tried as an adult as per the law.
A number of states have put in place laws that allow prosecutors to charge juveniles as adults for very serious crimes, without the requirement to seek a waiver. A juvenile tried as an adult will receive all the rights of an adult defendant, which also includes the right to a jury. In some of the states, the judge is given the discretion to sentence a young offender as a juvenile, even when he or she was tried as an adult.