The general definition of a juvenile crime is a crime committed by a person under the age of 18, which is the legal adult age in all US states. The juvenile justice system aims to rehabilitate any juvenile offenders rather than severely punish them. This is what makes juvenile crimes different than adult crimes; these crimes are handled by using alternative sentencing options rather than jail time.
What Are the Most Common Juvenile Crimes That Can Be Committed?
Most juvenile crimes are considered juvenile misdemeanor crimes, and they could include:
- Vandalism and graffiti
- Simple assault (such as school fights)
- Underage drinking violations
- Joyriding and/or car hijacking
What Are the Alternative Sentencing Options Available to Juvenile Offenders?
These other forms of sentencing options will involve penalties that are considered more lenient than penalties for adult crimes. They may include:
- Community service work
- Educational classes
- Rehabilitation courses
- Criminal fine payment
- Mandatory counseling sessions
- Parole and probation programs
These penalties will of course depend on which crimes were committed. For example, if the charge is for vandalism or trespassing on another person’s property, the judge will probably order the defendant a simple fine and apology letter. More serious crimes such as underage drinking or carjacking could result in more serious penalties, such as a large number of hours in community service and/or drug and alcohol rehab.
If you or a family member has been charged with a juvenile crime in California, you will need an experienced and qualified criminal defense attorney at your side to explain your rights and defend you in juvenile criminal court. Contact the Law Offices of Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich today for a free consultation.