If your underage child is ever charged with a crime in Massachusetts, you need to take this situation seriously. The severity of a juvenile charge should never be underestimated. Your child is facing fines, jail time and even a record that could stick with him or her for quite a while. Let's take a look at the severity of a juvenile charge in today's post.
For the most part, juvenile courts across the country have to follow a uniform set of guidelines. They include the following:
- Children who range in age from 7 to 15 are prime candidates for the juvenile court system.
- Any minor under the age of 7 cannot face trial in court, even in a juvenile court.
- Children who are as young as 12 can be taken to juvenile court. More often than not, prosecutors are working to have children between the ages of 12 and 18 tried as adults for the most serious crimes.
If your child's case has been referred to juvenile court by a law enforcement officer the case will then be assigned a court officer. This officer will examine the case and determine if the issue can be dismissed, if it should go to trial and if the issue can be handled 'off the record.'
When you have a minor child charged with a crime you need to get out in front of the situation immediately. Don't delay a single minute. The longer you wait to build a defense strategy, the less likely it is that the juvenile will have the charges dropped or reduced.