Juvenile Crimes

Garden City, NY Juvenile Crimes

teenager play in computer gameDefending New York children from the consequences of their mistakes

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. Juvenile crime cases are heard in Family Court. If the child is in need of 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 with the experience to fight the charges. Call Grunwald & Seman, P.C.

What happens during a juvenile case?

To start a juvenile case, a prosecutor files a petition against the child containing the description of 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. At that point, a juvenile will be detained or released to the custody of a guardian until the dispositional hearing. A dispositional hearing is where a juvenile is sentenced as a delinquent (in need of supervision, treatment or confinement) or can be released to the guardian with or without court supervision.

When juveniles are tried as adults

Children who are 13, 14, and 15 years old and commit serious crimes or violent acts may be treated as adults in 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. In order for courts to consider trying a child as an adult, the crime must be serious. Murder, assault and battery, some serious drug offenses, armed robbery, and other serious and violent crimes constitute a consideration to upgrading the child to an adult case. New York is one of few states that will allow a person of such a young age to be waived up to an adult case. New York is also a state that will allow for a reverse waiver, transferring a child in an adult case back to Family Court.

Juveniles must have an attorney

As in most states, a juvenile must have an attorney present representing his or her interests. Having an experienced attorney with your child’s best interests in mind is highly recommended and 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. They must have supporting documentation demonstrating that they do not have the money to retain the services of a private attorney and it is at the discretion of the court to grant the request.

Contact an attorney that cares

At Grunwald & Seman, P.C., we understand that children make mistakes. Our experienced attorneys have the years of knowledge needed to fight juvenile cases. If your child has been caught committing a crime serious enough for a court to consider waiving them up to an adult case, you need effective representation in order 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.