In the state of New York, juveniles are all those under the age of 16, but at least 7 years old. These children can be tried as a juvenile when they commit a crime. When these children are charged with crimes that are deemed violent and more serious in nature, they may have their status elevated to an adult. When juveniles are charged as adults, their cases can become more serious. Instead of going to a juvenile detention center, they may face the opportunity for imprisonment. This can be terrifying for them and their families. Their parents may be scared of how they will do in prison with other individuals that are not juveniles.
Individuals over the age of 16 will be tried as an adult. However, if the child was 16 or younger when the crime was committed, then they may be charged as a juvenile. When a child is defined as a “juvenile delinquent,” it means that they need supervision, treatment or confinement. This could mean that they are more dangerous than other individuals who are classified as a juvenile. It could also be attributed to the mental state of the child.
How do juvenile cases proceed?
Juvenile cases are not done in a regular courtroom setting like adult cases are done in. Instead, juvenile cases are heard in family court where a final verdict and punishment will be given to the juvenile. Once a juvenile is detained, a prosecutor will file a petition against the child that will include the details of the allegations that have been made against them. This can describe the crime and the seriousness of it. The family court trial is also known as a fact-finding hearing where there is a single judge. A jury does not deliberate on the case as they do in adult court. This can be to keep matters more public since it involves the identity of a minor. The judge will act and make the decisions by themselves. If they find that there is a lack of evidence, they may decide to dismiss the case and not proceed with a punishment. If they find that there is evidence to support the allegations being made, a dispositional hearing may be made. The judge may then order a probation department to investigate the juvenile’s home and school behavior. This can help determine their current state of mind and how their environment has contributed to their acts against nature.
Kevin T. Conway has over 30 years of experience as a Spring Valley criminal attorney handling DUI, DWI, traffic violations, violent crimes, sex crimes, illegal gun possession, shoplifting, and juvenile crimes. Attorney Conway is also experienced in commercial law matters, zoning law, and estate planning. If you need a Rockland County criminal lawyer, contact our Spring Valley office for a free consultation.