In many states, juvenile crimes are treated a little differently than others are. The same goes for those in Pennsylvania. Juvenile crimes can be defined as offenses committed by children under the age of 18. In the Pennsylvania court system, offenses committed by juveniles are considered “juvenile acts,” not “crimes.” There are a few other differences in how these situations are handled as opposed to crimes committed by adults 18 years and older.
In addition to crimes being referred to as “acts,” juveniles will face an adjudication hearing instead of a trial. Juveniles will also not serve time in adult jails, have the opportunity for bond, or have a jury to hear the case. Finally, juveniles are not held in jail until their court date and are often sent home to be with a guardian unless they are considered a flight risk. Any acts that a juvenile commits will only be placed in a sealed record.
It is also important to note that when a juvenile does commit a serious offense, they may be charged with a crime as an adult. This may be the case when the crimes include murder, rape, and aggravated assault. If a juvenile is tried for a serious crime and convicted as an adult, they may serve time in adult jails. It is essential that juveniles retain the services of an experienced attorney who can fight to keep their offenses tried as a juvenile act and protect the child’s future. If you need strong legal representation for your child, contact our firm today.
The law firm of Mattleman, Weinroth & Miller, P.C., is composed of experienced defense attorneys throughout the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Please contact the office for a free initial consultation and get any questions answered regarding criminal charges and procedures.