A juvenile offender is a criminal offender suspect who is under eighteen. A minor becomes a juvenile delinquent when the penal system finds them guilty of a crime. Although the police may arrest and charge minors, minors often experience a different criminal justice system than adults.
In some cases, the justice system may charge some minors as adults depending on the offense. For example, the justice system is more likely to charge someone under eighteen as an adult if they committed murder. The justice system is less likely to charge someone under eighteen as an adult if they committed burglary or vandalism.
Ohio Juvenile Offender Attorney
If your child is under the age of 18 and has been charged with a crime, our Dayton juvenile defense lawyers at Joslyn Law Firm are fierce advocates for juveniles charged with crimes. Without a juvenile defense lawyer, your child faces harsh sentencing in a court of law that could impact their life for years to come. The stakes are high so do not waiter any longer to retain legal representation.
Call Joslyn Law Firm at (937) 356-3969 to have one of our attorneys build a strong defense for the best outcome. Joslyn Law Firm accepts juvenile cases throughout the areas of Dayton, Troy, Kettering, Huber Heights, Piqua, Springfield, Beavercreek, and Fairborn.
- Common Juvenile Offender Crimes
- The Juvenile Justice System
- Juvenile Offender Penalties
- Juvenile Offender Crime Defenses
- Sealing Juvenile Records
- Additional Resources
Common Juvenile Offender Crimes
Although a juvenile can commit any crime, youthful offenders are more likely to commit some crimes. They include but are not limited to:
- Sexual battery
- Criminal trespass
The Juvenile Justice System
The first step in the juvenile justice system is intake. During intake, the authorities will decide whether a court or a community program is necessary. Unless they divert the juvenile to community service, the police will detain the juvenile at a juvenile detention center during the initial investigation. Although youthful offenders aren’t entitled to bail, a judge can decide whether to release the minor temporarily or hold them. A judge may opt for at-home detention, which usually involves ankle monitoring, day and evening reporting, or shelter care if they believe that’s more suitable for the individual offender.
The court arraigns the juvenile offender. The juvenile will enter a plea of guilty or not guilty during the arraignment. After arraignment, the juvenile will have an adjudicatory hearing. Adjudication is an adult trial’s equivalent. However, a jury will not be present. The judge is the sole factfinder of the case. After adjudication, the juvenile attends a dispositional hearing where the judge renders sentencing.
Juveniles are entitled to legal representation and attorney-client privilege. This means that their parents aren’t privy to the discussions between them and their attorneys, regardless of who’s paying for their Dayton, Ohio criminal defense lawyer. Juveniles may request a speedy trial, confront their accusers, and appeal the sentencing.
Juvenile Offender Penalties
The punishment for juvenile offenders is often less severe than for adult offenders. However, youthful offenders shouldn’t take their punishment lightly. Any encounter with the penal system can negatively impact the youth’s educational goals, collegiate opportunities, scholarships, and reputation. Common penalties for youthful offenders are:
- Detention center placement
- House arrest
- Driver’s license suspension
- Mandatory substance use program attendance
If the juvenile is charged as an adult, penalties are more severe. In this case, the minor is subject to standard adult punishment, such as lengthy incarceration.
Juvenile Offender Crime Defenses
People can be malicious. At times, alleged victims will lie about a crime to get revenge. For example, one teenager may be jealous of another, leading the envious teen to fabricate a story to get the other teen out of the picture. Maybe two teens found out they’re dating the same person, and one of them wants to do more than cry about it. One of them falsely accuses the cheater of rape or physical assault. False accusations are common, and the best way to prove the accusation is untrue is to reveal the accuser’s ulterior motives and pinpoint any discrepancies in their story.
People can look alike. Therefore, it’s not difficult to believe that a minor may be wrongfully accused because the victim or eyewitnesses got it wrong. Usually, there are similarities between the mistaken-identity victim and the actual perpetrator. However, unique differences in appearance can reveal that the police arrested the wrong person.
The United States Supreme Court held that all suspects of a crime have a right against self-incrimination. This right applies to custodial interrogation. A custodial interrogation begins once the suspect is deprived of their freedom significantly, and questioning can produce the answers leading to incarceration. Courts ensure the police do not force an individual into making a false or involuntary confession by verifying that the suspect confesses knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily. Courts will review the juvenile suspect’s:
- Age and maturity
- Educational background
- Prior experience with law enforcement
- Deprivation of food, drink, and bathroom usage
- Length of interrogation
The Dayton, Ohio police may question a minor without that minor’s parents being present. However, they may not deprive the minor of necessities nor question them for extended periods without allowing intermittent breaks. If the youthful suspect admitted to a crime they didn’t commit under stressful conditions, this might be a viable defense.
Fourth Amendment Violation
Juveniles are entitled to fourth amendment protection. The police may violate a juvenile suspect’s rights by not securing a warrant or conducting an unreasonable stop and frisk. If the police arrest and detain a juvenile without having sufficient, articulable grounds, that juvenile may argue the police violated their Fourth Amendment rights. The court must toss out any evidence that the police seized in violation of these Constitutional protections unless the officers would’ve discovered it despite the violation.
Sealing Juvenile Records
All records of juvenile crimes in Ohio may be sealed, except rape, aggravated murder, and murder. Once the juvenile offenders turn eighteen or finish their sentence, they may request juvenile record sealing. A minor under eighteen must wait six months after sentencing concludes to request record sealing.
Family and Youth Law Center – This Ohio website provides information on juvenile record sealing and expungement.
Ohio’s Family & Youth Guide – This Ohio website provides information on the juvenile justice system.
Ohio Juvenile Offender Lawyer | Joslyn Law Firm
If your child has been charged with a juvenile offense, it can be stressful. You may be concerned about losing custody of your child, or about long-term impacts on his or her life and well being. In times like this, it helps to have an experienced Ohio criminal defense lawyer at your side who can defend the rights of you and your child throughout the legal process.
To schedule a call with Joslyn Law Firm, who has extensive experience defending juveniles, call (937) 356-3969 today. Joslyn Law Firm accepts cases throughout the areas of Dayton, Kettering, Huber Heights, Troy, Piqua, Springfield, Beavercreek, and Fairborn.