Donte T Wyatt -
What can your criminal attorney do with your Juvenile case?
In the court system there are several specialized subdivisions that handle special types of cases. I criminal
justice the primary subdivision is the Juvenile Justice System. Unlike other specialty courts within the criminal
justice system (such as drug court, domestic violence court or DUI court) the juvenile justice system is a separate
system not simply a particular court room handling one type of case. The juvenile justice system has there on set
of judges that are usually at a different location then the remaining criminal law judges. In addition, the case
files are kept separate and there are a different set of rules for the juvenile justice system. But why?
The juvenile justice system serves a different purpose and has different goals then the adult criminal justice
system. The primary goal in the juvenile justice system is rehabilitation. In the juvenile justice system the
District Attorney's Office does not file a criminal complaint they file a petition. The person accused of commuting
a crime is not considered a defendant, but is simply referred to as the minor. The proceeding are generally closed
to the public and the records of the proceedings are not available to the general public. If after the case is
adjudicated the court finds that the minor did commit the alleged offense the court makes a finding that the
allegations are true. There is no finding of guilt. Instead of a sentencing hearing the court conducts a
disposition hearing to determine what is in the best interest of the minor to further his rehabilitation. There are
custodial sanctions in the Juvenile Court system, however instead of sentencing the minor to prison the minor would
be sentenced to the Youth Authority, instead of housing the minor in county jail the minor is housed in juvenile
hall. In addition, the court uses a series of special programs and camps designed to rehabilitate the minor. The
minor could also be placed on house arrest.
In addition, to the minor having a different process the minor also
have a different set of rights. For example there is no right to a public or jury trial. All adjudications,
hearings and trials are before a judge. However, the minor still retains most of the other protective rights such
as the right to counsel.
When a juvenile is accused of commuting a crime it is critical to have an criminal attorney that is familiar with
the juvenile justice systems and how that system works. The juvenile justice system is looking for different things
in evaluating the juvenile that is not considered or given much weight in the adult criminal justice system. In the
juvenile justice system the court is going to want to know how the minor is doing in school, behaviorally,
and attendance wise. These are things that are simply not applicable to the adult system. In addition, the criminal
attorney needs to be familiar with the goals and programs available in the juvenile justice system. If your child
or loved one is charged in a juvenile petition it is critical that you contact a competent criminal attorney as
soon as possible.
Juveniles are often charged with crimes such as possession of narcotics, dui and driving under the influence,
sexual assult, truancy, cerfew violation, vandalism, theft, and gangs or gang related charges. Many times in
defending these cases the judge will look at the family environment and the minors school career. Anything that can
cause stability in the minors life. These things will be esessintal in keeping the judge from prescribing jubenile
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