What Happens After Juvenile Arrest?
What happens after the arrest of a minor? Is it the same as an adult? What does the law say? Do they go to prison? Many such questions come to mind if such a situation ever arises. If you were the unfortunate parent of a minor who is under arrest, the first thing to do is find a qualified and experienced criminal lawyer.
A police officer may apprehend a minor for violating a legal statute, thereby committing a criminal offense. What happens after the arrest of a juvenile? Each state has specifications with regard to this. The court intake officer evaluates the case against the juvenile. There are three possible consequences –
* The officer may dismiss the case with a warning to the offender (this happens if it is a minor offense)
* The officer may arrange for alternative care and counseling (at foster care homes, shelters, and so on)
* The officer may file a petition for a juvenile court to hear the matter
Note: In certain cases, involving felonies like rape or murder, the officer may refer the case to the county or district attorney general’s office for further legal proceeding. If this happens, the juvenile gets the same treatment as an adult offender.
If the case goes to the juvenile court, what may happen? To ensure proper representation of the minor, you need to get a criminal lawyer. Moreover, certain states also let the parents be present at the court hearing. Your lawyer could help you understand the rights of the minor and his/her parents regarding this.
Unlike adult criminal cases that the jury hears, a judge hears juvenile criminal cases. If the juvenile offender admits the charges, the judge may order a treatment. However, if he/she denies the charges, the hearing follows the same pattern as any criminal case. If there is not enough evidence to prove the allegations, the judge dismisses the case.
If the judge thinks that there is enough evidence to support the charges, he/she may decide to declare the offender as a delinquent or a status offender. The second hearing determines the disposition of the matter. A proficient criminal lawyer is necessary for proper representation at a juvenile court hearing.
Getting legal help for a juvenile criminal case is important. Without this, your child runs the risk of facing a legal proceeding that may lead to serious penalties, even a period of confinement at a correctional facility.