Juvenile Defense
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10 Most Important Things to Know

  1. Juvenile Court is where they prosecute children under 16, adult court prosecutes 17 year olds as Youthful Offenders.

  2. If your child was issued a motor vehicle infraction like speeding, they will be sent to adult court, no matter if they are 16 or 17

  3. In juvenile court you are not entitled to a jury, only a judge hears the case

  4. There is no requirement for bail in juvenile court, which means your child could be detained in a detention center while the case is pending

  5. The victims in your case will be told about what is happening with the case, even though the case is supposed to be sealed.

  6. Juvenile results can impact your child’s education

  7. You are entitled to have an attorney for your child

  8. If a parent is the victim, the court may appoint a non family member as guardian of the child for court purposes.  Sometimes this is another attorney trained in juvenile guardianship

  9. The adult laws are the same for juvenile court, but the potential penalties are different

  10. The sooner you get a lawyer involved in a juvenile defense, the sooner the lawyer can contact the state’s advocate, who will be “prosecuting” you child.  It is possible to talk to the state even before your child’s court date.

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