Juvenile law is an area of law that pertains to those who are not yet old enough to be held responsible for the crimes that were committed. In many states, a person needs to be at least 18 in order to be tried as an adult, but this sometimes depends on the nature of the crime committed.
All About Juvenile Law
Juvenile Law In South Carolina
In South Carolina, a juvenile is defined as someone who is under 17 years of age. In the event that there is an A, B, C or D felony and the person is over the age of 16, they may be tried as an adult, but their lawyer can request that the case be heard before a family court judge. If this occurs, the penalties would be much more lenient.
If the person committing a crime is 11 years old or under, they cannot be placed in a detention center with the rest of the juvenile offenders.
A child being accused of a crime cannot be held in detention for more than 90 days without a hearing. Generally, a juvenile case is brought before a judge. There is only a possibility of a jury trial in cases that make it to criminal court.
Sentences vary wildly in juvenile cases, depending on numerous factors, including:
• How serious the offense is,
• Whether the crime is violent in nature,
• The maturity of the child, and
• The existence of a prior record.
After a judge reviews all of the facts of the case, they will determine how harsh the punishment should be.
Juvenile Law in Virginia
A juvenile is defined as someone who has not yet reached the age of 18. The state of Virginia tries their best to issue punishments to juveniles that will help rehabilitate them. The goal is to prevent them from becoming adult offenders.
In cases where serious crimes were committed, especially when violence is involved, the case made be transferred to an adult court. This is only a possibility if the offender is at least 14 years of age. Otherwise, they will still be tried as a juvenile offender.
The same was as it is in South Carolina, several factors are taken in consideration when deciding how a juvenile offender is punished. There are no jury trials for juvenile offenders; the cases will be held before a judge.
There are some charges that only pertain to juvenile offenders. A Child in Need of Services is when a child is at risk of harming themselves or others. A Child in Need of Supervision is when children are truant or runaway often and it seems having a court intervene is the only way for there to be some type of resolution.
Just because they are young and immature, it does not mean that they are not entitled to a solid defense. They have rights like everyone else. Their youth is not an excuse to treat them any way you like without regard to the laws of each state.