Juvenile cases are seen in a different light than criminal cases. When a juvenile is suspected of violating the laws, the justice system’s procedure is different from the adult criminal cases.
Every state has created juvenile courts to handle juvenile cases separately. Although some juvenile cases are judged to be your delinquents, most of the cases that come here are solved pretty easily.
Although every state has its procedure to manage juvenile cases, the process’s general rundown remains the same. To know more about the juvenile cases and ho0w it is handled can take help from juvenile criminal defense in San Diego CA.
How Police Deal With The Juveniles?
There are a number of ways in which a juvenile can come in contact with law enforcement officers for violating the laws. Some juveniles are arrested by the police, while some are referred by the schools’ parents and teachers.
Regardless of how police officers came to know about juvenile cases, there are a number of ways (depending on the situation) in which police officers might decide to take action.
- Issue A Warning: If the violation is manageable, then the police officer detains the minor, talks with them, and makes them understand that the things they are doing are wrong. And after that, they leave them. This method is known as “Counseled and Released.”
- Hold The Minor Until Parents Arrive: Sometimes, police officers detain the china call their parents. Meanwhile, they warn them of their actions when the parents arrive, officers talk with the parent and then leave both parents and minor.
- Refer To Juvenile Court: If the case is serious, police officers feel comfortable referring them to the juvenile courts.
There have always been cases where the minor is falsely accused of the law violation. In cases like these, you need to prepare yourself with an attorney. If you find it hard to find the right attorney, try contacting Juvenile Defense Attorney San Diego.
When Cases Go To The Juvenile Court?
Once the police office refers to the juvenile court of the juvenile law violation, the juvenile court office over the case, that person is now responsible for deciding whether the case is valid and keep or dismiss the case.
In deciding how to proceed with the case, the following factors might be considered.
- The severity of the case.
- The age of the minor.
- Past law violation records.
- Strength of evidence.
- The social history of minors.
It has been seen that, on average, only 20% of the cases referred by the police officer are taken in by the court officers, while only 25% of the cases are handled informally.
If the court officer decides to go informally with the juvenile case, the minor must appear before a probational judge. Although no formal charges are entered against a minor, however, it is necessary to be present before the judge.
The judge might:
- Give a stern lecture.
- Hold counseling sessions.
- Ask for a fine or damage compensation.
- Ask for community work.
- Ask the minor to enter probation.
If the prosecutor decides to go formally with the case. Then they will file a petition in the juvenile court. The minor is then formally charged in front of the judges. In some cases, the court might decide and send the juvenile cases to adult criminal cases.
The court also decides whether the juvenile will be detained or released before the initial hearing. More than 80% of cases have seen that juveniles have been asked to wait in their home before hearing.
If the juvenile cases remain in the juvenile court, the following three things might happen.
- Minor Entered Plea Agreement
- The Judge Diverts The Case
- The Judge Might Hold An Adjudicatory Hearing
It barely happens, but there are times when the judge made a delinquency ruling. If that happens, a probation officer evaluates the juvenile and makes the juvenile go through a psychological examination. The judges then decide what is in the best interest of the juvenile.
This might include: