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Understanding the juvenile justice system

| Sep 25, 2020 | Criminal Defense

If your child is under the age of 18 and they have been accused of committing a serious crime, you’ll understandably be very worried about their future. Not only will you be shocked about the acts that they are accused of committing, but you’ll also want to help them avoid jail and a criminal record.

As a parent, you’ll want to do what you can to prevent your child from ruining their future at such an early age. To do so, it’s important that you take the time to understand exactly how the law in Tennessee will apply to them. As a minor, your child may be able to avoid being charged as an adult. They can do this by being tried at a juvenile court. The following is an overview of what you need to know about juvenile court in the United States.

Not all minors go to juvenile court

Children under the age of 7 are considered to be too young to be tried for any crime they commit, but their parents may be held liable for their actions. Children between the ages of 7 and 18 can be tried for criminal acts. However, in many cases, particularly if the child is over the age of 15, prosecutors may try the child as an adult. This is especially true when the child in question is accused of a very serious crime.

The juvenile court is more lenient than an adult court

There are several key differences between a juvenile court and an adult court. First, a judge, rather than a jury, will be the one hearing the evidence and deciding whether the defendant is innocent or guilty. If the minor is found guilty, the judge will sentence the minor in accordance with their age and with a full view of their general attitude and their history of committing crimes.

If your child has been accused of committing a serious crime in Tennessee, take action to attempt to ensure that they are tried in a juvenile court.

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