When a minor enters the criminal justice system, they face different challenges and issues than adults. Depending on the minor’s age, they may still think and act as children and may still be learning to control their impulses and understand laws and rules.
But when a minor is charged with a crime, they can face the same consequences an adult would. Even when a case is handled in juvenile court, it is still a very serious situation that may impact a minor’s life permanently.
That is why retaining the services of an experienced attorney may be important. Speak with a Forsyth County juvenile crimes lawyer today.
The juvenile justice system puts incarcerated minors in a juvenile facility rather than with the general prison population. Also, minors can have their criminal records sealed. This means that their youthful blunders will not follow them into adulthood. In Forsyth County, the general rule is anyone 17 or older is an adult by the criminal justice system. Anyone younger than 17 is a minor with different procedures and a different, special court. However, there are many exceptions to this rule.
It is especially important that, in juvenile court proceedings, the goal of resolving the case is to decide what is best for the child, rather than just determining guilt and deciding on a punishment. In a juvenile court hearing, a judge rather than a jury will decide a minor’s case.
Trying Minors as Adults
For more serious crimes, the court may try minors younger than 17 as adults. For example, a court may try a minor over the age of 13, if charged with a violent crime, such as aggravated assault or armed robbery, as an adult unless a judge determines they should still try them as a minor. In certain situations, a judge can send a minor 15 or over to the adult court system, even if the minor is not charged with a violent crime.
In the juvenile justice system, the penalties are usually less severe than they would be in an adult court, and the confidential nature of the court proceedings can help protect a child’s future. A Forsyth County juvenile crimes lawyer may advocate for their clients just as they would with an adult client.
The Rights of Arrested Minors
Minors must still hear their Miranda rights if they are under arrest, and Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure still applies to minors. A minor’s age and understanding may be relevant to show whether there was intent if the intent is an element required to prove guilt for a certain crime. A season Forsyth County juvenile crimes lawyer may potentially look into the arrest of the charged juvenile when building a strong defense.
Contact a Forsyth County Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
Juvenile cases have their own special challenges and it is important that a lawyer handling a case for a minor understands those challenges. Minors face adult consequences when charged with a crime. A passionate and committed Forsyth County juvenile crimes lawyer understand that their potential client’s future is at stake and could fight to protect it.