One of the most upsetting things a parent can experience is learning that his or her child has been charged with a crime. The life and future of a minor is extremely important and in many cases a criminal conviction at a young age can deter them for years to come. There are ways to defend these charges, as well as seeking a reduction in penalties. Sometimes the legal system will look to correct the behavior of a child, above punishing them and this can be a means to seek a lesser sentencing.
Juvenile crimes or juvenile delinquency is a major problem in the country and the state of Pennsylvania is not exempt from this. Those most at risk include boys, and in 2006 they made up 70% of juvenile arrests. Also in 2006, violent crimes were committed by a minor younger than 18 in almost 20% of cases. Taking action in these matters is crucial. There are a wide range of crimes that a younger individual can be accused of such as shoplifting or possession of alcohol - or they can be much, much more serious such as armed robbery or even murder.
Trying a Minor
Depending on the circumstances of the case they can be tried as a minor or even an adult. When the law does decide to look at them as an adult there case will be handled in a different section of the legal system and they may suffer from a significant increase in penalties. A conviction could jeopardize the ability of a minor to attend school, college or university. He or she could even be forced to spend a significant amount of his or her young life behind bars. In more serious crimes, a minor can face time in a juvenile detention center, or jail if tried as an adult.