What to do if Your Child is Charged With a Juvenile Crime in New York

 In Blog

If your child is facing juvenile charges in New York state, it’s completely natural for you to feel anxious about what’s next. In situations like these, understanding your options and having a general sense of the process can help you feel more calm and hopeful about the outcome. Let’s take a closer look at what the juvenile legal system looks like and what to do if your child has been charged with a juvenile crime.

Factors Leading to Formal Charges

New York prosecutors who deal with juvenile crimes take several factors into consideration when deciding whether to formally charge an adolescent with a crime. They will look at the nature and severity of the crime itself, the minor’s attitude toward the incident, the age of the minor, the minor’s history of criminal or delinquent behavior, the strength of the evidence, the role of the parents and/or an attorney, and other various factors.

The juvenile’s attitude and behavior can significantly influence the likelihood of formal charges being filed. For instance, if the minor is antagonistic or hostile towards the authorities, or if the minor demonstrates no remorse about the crime itself, formal charges are more likely to be pursued.

Understanding the Process

Should the authorities decide to move forward with filing charges against the minor, the process generally follows this progression:

  1. The minor will attend an arraignment, where the judge will formally charge the juvenile with the crime.
  2. During the initial hearing before a judge, the minor will enter a plea. Based on this plea, the case may proceed to trial.
  3. The trial itself is much different from cases tried in the adult criminal system. There is no jury; instead, a judge will hear the case and decide the outcome.
  4. After the trial concludes, the judge will sentence the juvenile.
  5. While the minor serves out the sentence, and typically for a period of time after the sentence is completed, the minor will attend court-mandated appearances or meetings to track their progress.

Striving for Rehabilitation

Like many states, New York seeks to focus on how to help minors learn from their mistakes and forge a brighter path forward. In many instances, a judge will sentence a minor to attend counseling sessions, perform community service, perform acts of restitution to the victim, or complete other forms of rehabilitation. Instead of forcing the minor to spend time locked away from society, the juvenile justice system attempts to find ways of helping these young people learn from their actions and move on in a more positive way.

Help When You Need It

If you want to learn more about juvenile crimes in New City, the Law Office of Yvonne Garbett is here to help. We provide compassionate and effective legal representation to minors and adults who are facing criminal charges in New York state, and we work hard to defend their rights. Call (845) 290-2492 today to schedule your free initial consultation.