Any crime, regardless of whether it is a felony or a misdemeanor, that is committed by a person less than 18 years of age will be considered a juvenile crime and be treated as such. Crimes committed by juveniles are dealt with in the Circuit Court, Delinquency Division.
The rules and procedures governing the juvenile process are different than the rules and procedures governing crimes committed by adults. The goal of the juvenile courts is to rehabilitate the offender and correct the criminal behavior. Accordingly, cases in the juvenile system are usually disposed by referral to the Department of Juvenile Justice for corrective measures.
If the crime committed is especially serious or the offender has a previous criminal history, the prosecutors can choose to “direct file” the case and have the juvenile treated as an adult.
It is imperative that you retain an attorney to represent your loved one during this critical time. As a former juvenile crimes prosecutor, Erick Cruz is familiar with the process of representing juveniles before juvenile court and the decision making process which leads to treating a juvenile as an adult.
Call Erick to discuss your juvenile case with him and find out how to get the case dismissed or charges and sentence reduced and arrest record sealed or expunged.