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Juvenile Crimes

Juvenile Crimes Lawyer in Nassau County, Long Island

A crime is considered juvenile when the accused party is under 16 years of age and at least 7 years old. New York is one of two states that will prosecute anyone over the age of 16 as an adult. It is irrelevant how old the accused was when they appear in court, only when they committed the crime. In New York, juvenile cases do not go to Criminal or Municipal Court. Instead, these cases are heard in Family Court. If the child needs supervision, treatment, or confinement because of their crimes, they are called a “juvenile delinquent.” If your child has been detained for a juvenile crime, you need effective representation who can fight those charges. Contact Grunwald & Seman, P.C. today.

What happens during a juvenile case?

To start a juvenile case, a prosecutor files a petition against the child which describes the acts he or she is accused of committing. In New York, a juvenile delinquency case trial is called a “fact-finding hearing”. It is similar to a criminal trial but without a jury. During these trials, a judge will decide if the child committed the crime described in the petition. If the judge finds substantial evidence supporting the petition, the court will schedule a dispositional hearing and order the Probation Department to investigate the juvenile’s home and school behavior. Sometimes, a judge will order a mental evaluation. When this happens, the juvenile will be detained or released to the custody of a guardian until the dispositional hearing takes place. A dispositional hearing is where a juvenile is either sentenced as a delinquent (in need of supervision, treatment or confinement) or is released to the guardian with or without court supervision.

When juveniles are tried as adults

Children who are 13, 14, and 15 years old that commit serious crimes or violent acts may be tried as adults in the New York Supreme Court. It is the discretion of the prosecutor’s office and the juvenile judge whether your child’s case is heard in Family Court or waived up to the Supreme Court. Murder, assault and battery, some serious drug offenses, armed robbery, and other serious and violent crimes may constitute consideration to try the child as an adult. You should note, however, that in some cases, New York State courts may allow for a reverse waiver, which transfers a child’s adult case back to the Family Court.

Juveniles must have an attorney

As in most states, a juvenile must have an attorney present representing his or her interests. It is paramount to hire an attorney who has your child’s best interests in mind, which is why Grunwald & Seman, P.C. are ready to fight for your family. If a parent or guardian cannot afford to hire representation, the court will assign a lawyer to represent the client free of cost. If this applies to you, you must provide the court with supporting documentation demonstrating that you do not have the money to retain a private attorney. The court may grant your request at its discretion.

Contact an attorney that cares

At Grunwald & Seman, P.C., we understand that children make mistakes. If your child has committed a crime warranting a court’s consideration to waive him/her up to an adult case, you need effective legal representation to persuade the court to reverse the decision and send the child back down to Family Court. If you need quality legal services or advice, contact Grunwald & Seman, P.C.  

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