How does juvenile court differ from adult court?
Juvenile court differs from adult court in many ways. First, there’s on juries in juvenile court. Everything is actually argued in front of a judge. So the same judge that makes the probable cause determination in your cause is ultimately going to be the same judge that determines whether or not evidence is admissible in your case, and this is the same judge that determines guilt in your case.
Another big difference between juvenile court and adult court is the primary purposes of sentencing. The primary purpose of sentencing in adult court is punishment. The primary purpose of sentencing in juvenile court is rehabilitative.
Therefore, if you have a juvenile that’s finding themselves in the juvenile court system, it’s very important that you have an experienced attorney who knows how to navigate the juvenile court system, that knows all the diversion programs that are available to that juvenile, and also knows all the different ways in which you can handle a case in a juvenile system, that almost ensures the best possible result on behalf of that juvenile.
Because, again, the choices a child makes before they’re 18 can very much affect them, after they turn 18.