Around the country, the court systems have what is called the juvenile court. It is a court of law that is responsible for the legal supervision and trials of children that are under the age of 18. However, because states differ on these rule the age could be seventeen or younger.
Depending on what state the juvenile is in at the time of the court hearings that will make a difference
Age and court jurisdictin
Like we said above there
Maximum age for juvenile court is age seventeen
Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, Texas, and Wisconsin have a maximum age of sixteen
North Carolina has a maximum age of fifteen
Delinquent behavior – Status Offenses
Most states do not specify a minimum age as a matter of law. However some states do, those that do set a minimum age are below:
North Carolina has a minimum age of six
Connecticut and Mississippi have an age of seven
Arizona has a minimum age of eight
Minimum age for delinquency
North Carolina sets a minimum age of six
Connecticut, New York, and Maryland set an age of seven
Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Wisconsin have a minimum age of ten
California has a minimum age of 12 * except for murder and rape where there is no minimum age.
Factors that effect formal charges on a Juvenile court case
It is important for many juvenile offenders to not have a formal charge placed on them. Having a criminal record as a juvenile depends on many factors of the Juvenile case. Some of those are the following when determining if a juvenile will have formal charges on there recod
- How serious was the crime? the more serious the more likely a petition will be filed.
- Past records play a role.
- Minors age. The older the more chances the formal charge will be filed.
- Sex of juvenile plays a role. Males are more likely to have charges filed then females.
- Social problems and history. If history shows issues then the chances of a petition being files are greater.
- Attitude of minor plays a rule.
Apperanceplays a rule.
Juvenile court sentencing
There are different sentences that can happen when speaking about juveniles. From monitoring a juvenile to incarceration time can happen. This sentencing time will depend on how severe the crime was and the history of the juvenile. Typically a juvenile will see the following:
- Incarceration. This typically will be at a juvenile detention facility that is made for Juveniles. In the U.S. we do not see a juvenile in with the adult prison population.
- Formal Supervision: A juvenile meets with a juvenile probation officer.
- Informal supervision: The court system will informally monitor the juvenile.
The process is in place to reform a Juvenile offender
The juvenile court process is in place to reform juveniles for the long term. Juveniles and adults should be treated differently in terms of the court systems and how they function. There are about 1.5 million delinquency cases a year or about 75 percent of all juvenile court cases.
Out of these cases, the most common would be property crimes. The system that is in place is there to help reform and put back these juvenile offenders on the right path. Most Juvenile cases are not viewable to the public because a minor is involved in the case. The general public typically will not be able to view these cases.