Sentencing Options for Juvenile Crime

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What is Juvenile Crime?

A juvenile crime is a violation of criminal laws committed by a person under the age of majority (18 in most states). The juvenile criminal system is much different than the adult system. Legal consequences for juvenile crimes typically aim at rehabilitating and educating the juvenile rather than imposing punishments on them. As a result, there tend to be more sentencing options for juvenile crime than for adult offenders.

What Are the Different Sentencing Options for Juvenile Crime?

Sentencing options for juvenile crime can be classified into two basic categories: incarceration-related options and non-incarceration options. Sentencing options involving some form of incarceration may include, but aren’t limited to:

Sentencing options for juvenile crime also involve alternative measures designed to keep the minor out of a jail facility. These are sometimes known as “diversionary programs” intended to “divert” the minor offender from the normal routes of juvenile criminal justice. Some of these non-incarceration sentencing options may include:

Judges often have much discretion to prescribe sentencing options for a juvenile offender. This is to maximize the minor’s rehabilitation in light of their individual circumstances. Sentencing options for juvenile crimes therefore allow the minor to be reintegrated back into the community.

Do I Need a Lawyer if I Have Issues with a Juvenile Crime?

If you or a loved one has any issues or questions regarding juvenile crime, it’s in your best interest to contact a criminal lawyer as soon as possible. A skilled criminal defense attorney in your area will be able to discuss the various sentencing options that may be available in your case. Also, you may want to inquire about having juvenile records sealed in the future.  

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Last Modified: 01-16-2014 10:39 AM PST

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