The criminal justice system deals with juvenile offenders differently than how it does with adults who are charged with a crime. Children who get arrested will find that their case will move much quicker in the Courts than an adult’s case would.
While an adult’s criminal conviction is meant to serve as a punishment, New York’s juvenile offender laws seek to protect and rehabilitate juvenile offenders so that they may one day become productive members of society. In fact, most Family Court dispositions are handed down as an effort to monitor and improve a minor’s behavior and prevent them from facing criminal charges as an adult later on in life.
Robert S. Gershon has over two decades of experience dealing with cases such as this. He knows what it takes to help achieve the best possible outcome for juveniles such as focusing on alternative sentences like probation and rehabilitation programs instead of incarceration.
The legal terminology that is used for juvenile offenders also differs than what is common for adults who are arrested. Juveniles are prosecuted for delinquent acts rather than crimes and they are referred to as a respondent, not a defendant. While adults may be “convicted” of a crime, a juvenile may have a “finding” entered against them. They may be adjudged to be a juvenile delinquent, but they will not have a criminal record. These cases are handled in Family Court instead of the Supreme or Criminal Courts.
Despite these differences, there are many similarities that exist between juvenile offender laws and criminal laws. For example, those being processed through both systems have many of the same legal rights, including the right to be read their Miranda warnings, the right to an attorney and the right to confront their accusers in Court.
If someone you know is facing juvenile charges in one of the New York Family Courts, call or email Robert S. Gershon for representation.