While a child commits a crime, their behavior is referred to as juvenile delinquency because it is approached in a different manner than if they were an adult. If the child is 7 to 15 years of age, he or she may be found to need supervision, treatment, or confinement. Generally, juvenile delinquency cases are handled by Family Court.
However, if the child is 13 to 15-years-old and the crime he or she is accused of is severe, the case can be transferred to Supreme Court. At this level, if the child is found guilty he or she may be labeled a “juvenile offender,” which would entail more serious penalties than a “juvenile delinquent” would.
All children are required to have legal representation in juvenile delinquency proceedings in New York Family Court. The court will assign a lawyer to represent your child if you cannot afford to hire an attorney. Juvenile delinquency cases generally begin after a child has been arrested and held in custody. The prosecuting attorney presents the case by preparing a petition against the child describing the criminal acts he or she allegedly committed.
In juvenile delinquency proceedings, there are fact-finding hearings rather than criminal trials. In these hearings, a Family Court judge reviews that evidence and determines whether the child should be released or held in custody throughout the remainder of the proceedings (there is no bail in juvenile delinquency cases). The judge will also determine whether the child has actually committed the crimes alleged by the prosecutor. If the child is found guilty, he or she may face confinement, treatment, or supervision as a consequence.
Contact a New York Family Court lawyer from Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. today to discuss your juvenile delinquency case. Our attorneys are highly-skilled and well-qualified to provide the most intelligent and aggressive legal representation possible for your child.