Juvenile Crimes In Jefferson County
Although arrests for juvenile crime reached a historic low point in 2014, juvenile crime can and still does occur in Jefferson County and throughout the rest of Alabama. Although juvenile crimes involve substantial in nature and can result in significant charges that can follow a young adult throughout the rest of their life. Individuals who are faced with juvenile crimes frequently rely upon the expertise of a seasoned criminal defense attorney to reach the best potential outcome. There is also some essential information that individuals in Jefferson County must remember concerning juvenile crimes.
Definition of a Juvenile
The definition of juvenile varies substantially between states. In the state of Alabama, a juvenile is defined as a person not old enough to be held responsible for criminal acts and is either below the age of eighteen or under the age of nineteen and before the court concerning an event that occurred before the individual's eighteenth birthday.
What Constitutes Juvenile Crimes
Juvenile crimes merely mean offenses that are committed by individuals who satisfy the state of Alabama's definition of juvenile.
There are a number of crimes or offenses that are typically committed by juveniles including alcohol offenses, assault, burglary, drug possession, harassment, larceny, possession of a weapon, property damage, school disciplinary offenses, theft, traffic violations, and vandalism.
The Contrast Between Adult And Juvenile Charges
The right to be tried as a juvenile is a privilege and not a right. A minor may be tried as an adult for particularly violent crimes. As a result, individuals should not assume that an individual who satisfies the definition of juvenile will be tried as an individual. A skilled and knowledgeable defense attorney, however, can help keep a case out of the state's adult system.
Courts in the state of Alabama view juveniles as different from adults in several different ways. Several recent opinions issued by the Supreme Court of the United States have articulated this difference: capital punishments are prohibited for juveniles and mandatory life sentences are prohibited. A parent or guardian may also be held financially liable for any monetary losses created by criminal activity of a minor in custody. Also, a juvenile trial in the state of Alabama is heard in front of a juvenile judge only rather than a jury.
There are also some similarities between juveniles and adults. Juveniles still have certain elemental rights like adults. Much like adults, individuals in the state of Alabama also have the right to an attorney, the right to cross examine witnesses, the privilege against self-incrimination, and the right to proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt before a decision is made.
Punishment For Juveniles
Individuals who are sentenced by a juvenile court face a variety of potential punishments which include commitment to a youth development center, community service, electronic monitoring, fines, house arrest, placement in juvenile detention facilities, probation, counseling, and verbal warnings.
There is also the possibility that court records will follow children for life subsequently creating problems regarding employment, education, and a variety of other opportunities. Fortunately, there are options available for juveniles to seal records.
How An Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney In Jefferson County Can Help
If you or your child faces a juvenile offense charge in Jefferson County, it is essential to retain the services of a talented criminal defense attorney who can ensure that the case reaches the best possible outcome. Contact Eversole Law today to begin crafting a strong legal strategy with which to respond to your juvenile charge.