Because of youth offenders’ age and immaturity, juvenile legal cases get less harsh treatment than do adult cases. Sometimes, however, prosecutors seek waivers to adult court. In such cases, the prosecutor will request that the judge waive or transfer a juvenile case to adult criminal court. Some prosecutors are more aggressive than others when it comes to seeking these waivers, but a waiver to adult court is never good for a juvenile’s case, and the defense attorneys in such cases must make every effort to block these prosecutorial requests.
Juvenile Justice and the Supreme Court
The Supreme Court issued several decisions over recent years, bolstering the legal concept that juvenile cases are different than adult cases because juveniles are not adults and are both less experienced and less intellectually and emotionally developed. Fortunately, though, many states – according to a recent study put out by the Campaign for Youth Justice – are beginning to adopt this fundamental view and are enacting their own juvenile justice reforms that better address developmentally appropriate methods of dealing with juvenile defendants.
Raising the Bar: State Trends in Keeping Youth out of Adult Courts
This study, called Raising the Bar: State Trends in Keeping Youth out of Adult Courts, relays significant information related to juvenile justice in the United States:
- About 36 states now have laws to help prevent minors from becoming incarcerated in adult prisons or jails;
- Nine states and D.C. have laws that either remove minors from adult jails or restrict the court’s ability to detain;
- Many states are pursuing legislation that will diminish juvenile exposure to adult criminal justice systems;
- Nineteen states have raised the age limit for waiving a juvenile to adult court or have reduced the number of specific offenses that could lead to such a waiver; and
- Since 2005, states have passed about 70 laws that focus on juvenile justice reform.
This report highlights the current trend away from the adult system and toward an approach that takes an individualized view of each juvenile defendant. Furthermore, it makes decisions based on the facts of the case and on what’s known about the juvenile’s background. All of this is good news for the juvenile justice system.
If Your Child is Facing Charges in New Jersey, Call 732-238-8686 for More Information Today
If your child is facing charges, you need skilled legal counsel. David C. Barry, Attorney at Law, understands the seriousness of your situation and is here to help. Attorney David C. Barry will ensure that you understand your child’s rights. He will also guide you through the often-complicated legal process, and help you plan your child’s comprehensive defense. David has the experience, dedication, and compassion to fight for the most favorable resolution of your child’s case. Please contact or call David today at 732-238-8686.