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What Are the Most Important Principles of Juvenile Criminal Law?

 Posted on June 28,2023 in Criminal Defense

Aurora Juvenile Offense AttorneyJuvenile criminal law is a sensitive and specialized branch of the criminal justice system that protects and rehabilitates children and minors charged with an offense. Unlike the adult criminal justice system, the juvenile criminal justice system aims to balance protection, deterrence, rehabilitation, and accountability. If you are the parent of a juvenile involved in a criminal situation, contact an attorney immediately to ensure your son or daughter has the legal guidance and protection they need. 

Four Important Principles of Juvenile Criminal Law

The following are four essential principles that act as the crucial foundation of juvenile criminal law, including:

  • Protecting rights and interests of juveniles – One of the most important aspects of juvenile law is protecting the rights of minors and children. Consequences may include fines, probation, and community service, depending on the seriousness of the juveniles’ conduct. In especially rare cases, the juvenile may be detained at a detention center for juveniles. 

  • Rehabilitative focus – While punishment is an essential element of the adult criminal justice system, the juvenile system is focused primarily on rehabilitating the juvenile to ensure they can get the help they need while also ensuring they do not become repeat offenders in the future. Juvenile courts tend to emphasize a more supportive approach as a form of intervention rather than imprisoning the juvenile at an age-appropriate facility. 

  • Confidentiality – Most juvenile proceedings are confidential, meaning that the accused person and their records are kept confidential in what is known as a “delinquency hearing.” Ultimately, the goal is to protect juveniles from stigmatization and irreparable damage to their future.

Can Juveniles Ever Be Charged as Adults?

While juvenile criminal law’s main emphasis is rehabilitation, there are certain crimes where juveniles, typically aged 16 or 17, may be tried as adults. The gravity of some crimes, such as sexual assault or homicide, may result in the juvenile being tried as an adult due to the crime’s impact on the individual(s) against whom the alleged offense was committed. Of course, a juvenile being tried as an adult will likely result in a more severe punishment than if they were tried as a juvenile. 

Contact a Naperville Juvenile Defense Attorney

Being charged with a crime can be an incredibly scary thing for a juvenile and their family. If you or a loved one has been charged with a juvenile offense, do not hesitate to contact the DuPage County juvenile defense lawyer with Law Office of Patricia Magaña, LLC. Call 630-448-2001 for a free consultation. 




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Law Office of Patricia Magaña, LLC

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