A juvenile crime can have a large impact on a family. Children grow, learn, and make mistakes. If your child is accused of a juvenile crime, it is important to retain a skilled legal team to represent him or her. Read on to learn more about juvenile crimes in New York State, the process of a trial, and what you can do if your child is accused of committing a crime.
What is Considered a Juvenile Crime?
A juvenile crime is a crime committed between the ages of 7 and 18. Up until recently, in New York State, anyone 16 or older could be tried as an adult. The law was recently changed so 16 and 17-year-olds have the opportunity to be tried as a juvenile unless they have committed a serious offense that can result in being waived up to adult court. In NYS, a juvenile case trial is called a “fact-finding hearing.” It does not matter how old a child is when appearing in court, it only matters how old the child was at the time the crime was committed.
What Happens During a Juvenile Case?
A juvenile crime will be tried in Family Court, rather than Criminal or Municipal Court. A prosecutor will file a petition against the child, describing the acts he or she is accused of committing. A judge will then determine whether the child committed the crimes listed in the petition. If enough evidence is found, the court will schedule a hearing and the Probation Department will conduct an investigation regarding the child’s behavior at school and home. A mental evaluation of the child may also be ordered. A juvenile will either be sentenced as a delinquent, or released to a guardian. If a juvenile is sentenced as a delinquent, her or she may be in need of supervision, treatment, or confinement. If a juvenile is released to a guardian, he or she may require court-ordered supervision.
Can Juveniles be Tried as Adults?
Children ages 13-18 may be tried in New York State as adults depending on the severity of the crime. Some crimes that may shift the case from Family Court include murder, assault and battery, some serious drug offenses, and armed robbery, among other offenses.
Do Juveniles Need a Lawyer?
A juvenile must have an attorney present. If a parent or guardian cannot afford an attorney, a court-ordered lawyer will be assigned to the case.
Children make mistakes, but providing your child with the right legal counsel can be imperative to his or her future. That is why it is important to retain a skilled and knowledgeable attorney to fight for your child.
Contact our Firm
Criminal matters can change the course of your life forever. This is why you need an experienced attorney who will aggressively combat your charges to help mitigate their long-term effects. If you are in need of experienced legal counsel for a criminal defense matter on Long Island or throughout New York State, please contact Grunwald & Seman, P.C. to schedule a consultation. We would be happy to assist you.