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While most cases involving minors are tried in the juvenile system, some cases are taken to higher courts. Depending on the crime and circumstances of the case, a prosecutor may try to prosecute your child in an adult court and pursue the maximum amount of penalties available. In addition, juvenile offenders are sometimes used to “set an example” to deter others from committing similar crimes, a practice that can be very detrimental to their child’s future.
One of the first steps in the juvenile justice process is the detention hearing. At this hearing, a judge will determine if there is enough evidence against the minor to hold a trial or if the child should get probation. If the trial is imminent, your attorney can work on challenging proof that the prosecutor may have and aggressively defend your child’s case. In addition, most judges will look into a child’s social life, criminal history, attendance at school, or prior run-ins with the law during a chance to determine appropriate sentencing. Based on a judge’s findings, a child may be placed on probation with community service, counseling, and schooling or spend anywhere from 30 days in the Juvenile Temporary Detention Facility to time in a Department of Corrections prison.
The Washington State Juvenile Justice System varies slightly in its proceedings and handling of criminals than the adult justice system.
The ultimate goal of the juvenile corrections system is to help modify behaviors that can be seen as unfavorable and make the child a productive adult member of society.
The Juvenile Temporary Detention Center will use a point system to determine the severity of your child’s case and whether they will be held at the center until their court date or can be released while awaiting a hearing or trial.
All individuals arrested before their 17th birthday are tried as juveniles.
The officer determines whether to release the child to the custody of their parents or bring the minor to juvenile court.
In most states, a juvenile is viewed criminally as someone who committed a crime under 18. In a few states, you can be considered old enough to commit a severe crime at 14. Last year, however, Washington state legislators signed a new law extending juvenile jurisdiction to 25 for certain specific crimes.
That means a young person, even in their early 20s, may have a good chance of getting charges dismissed. And if an individual under 18 commits a crime of any sort, the parents should enlist a juvenile attorney’s help to learn more about juvenile crime and state laws.
Juvenile laws are put in place to protect children who commit crimes at a certain age. For instance, a child who commits a crime between the ages of 7-12 will most likely not understand right and wrong. Therefore, in many cases, the child may not be held liable.
In Washington, juvenile courts and adult courts are very different and have different rules and regulations. However, there are some instances when the court may charge the juvenile as an adult for the following reasons:
The juvenile is a repeat offender
If the crime is particularly heinous
Juveniles, regardless of age, can commit serious crimes. If you have a child that has committed a crime as a juvenile, you should hire a juvenile crime attorney to protect the child’s rights. Contact us today for your free initial consultation.
While a criminal conviction of a serious crime may not net the juvenile time in an adult prison, the consequences can still be severe.
A juvenile conviction can result in the following:
Juvenile court detention
A lifetime record
Probation or parole
Significant fines paid by the parent
Regardless of the degree charged the goal remains the same. We will help you avoid conviction on a criminal charge, but perhaps more importantly, keep you out of jail.
Mr. Harbeson handle my case and took very great care in it. He always keeping me updated with it and fighting for me. I can’t thank Mr. Harbeson enough for what he did for me. I thank you and my family thanks you. Thank you from a grateful client. – Matthew Miller, 5 Stars on Google My Business
Talk about an amazing man! Mr. Harbeson has been so patient and is a remarkable representative. Not only has he steered me in the light of the right path to take in life, he has become a mentor in counceling. I had never felt so much guilt and shame in my lives mistake that I had committed. His advice to take “One day at a time” rings in my head when I start to feel pressure – Alisha Narramore, 5 Stars on Avvo