How Juvenile Law Differs From Adult Law
If you or your child gets into trouble with the law as a minor, many of the processes will run a little differently than that of a tried adult. Here’s what you can expect and what to prepare for if you’re in such a situation.
Complaint Vs. Petition
One way juvenile law differs from adult law is that in juvenile court, the child is charged with a document called a “petition.” On the other hand, in adult court, the defendant is charged using a document called a “complaint.”
No Juries Present or Involved
In most jurisdictions, when a juvenile case goes to trial, the child is not afforded a jury trial like in adult court. The judge will have the final say on the verdict. While the child is still considered innocent until proven guilty, the prosecutor only has to convince one person that they’re guilty beyond a reasonable doubt instead of to an entire jury.
Conviction Vs. Adjudicated Delinquent
In juvenile court, the child is “adjudicated delinquent” if found guilty and if an adult is found guilty they are “convicted.”