Possible Michigan Juvenile Court Penalties:
Anyone under the age of 17 is a juvenile for the purposes of the criminal justice system. There are some circumstances in which a juvenile offender may be tried as an adult. However, the vast majority are disposed of in juvenile court, a facet of Michigan family courts. Michigan family courts were initially based on a concept of beneficial paternalism for delinquent children. However, over time they became less paternal, and more adversarial. At this time, many more due process rights were granted to juveniles. These include confrontation clause rights, the right to remain silent, calling witnesses, the right to an attorney, and the right to testify.
There are several possible outcomes when a juvenile is charged with a crime including:
- Complete dismissal;
- Disposition according to the Juvenile Diversion Act. This recommends counseling, and the juvenile must agree;
- The offender may be placed on the Juvenile Consent Docket, which is essentially a diversion program;
- The juvenile could be placed on the formal calendar.
The worst case scenario (besides being charged as an adult) is adjudication on the formal calendar. The formal calendar means that the penalties can be assessed as per the original charge. Furthermore, a criminal record will be established which can last until they are 18 or beyond. When on the consent calendar, the juvenile will have their record cleared once they complete the terms of the court.
The effects of a criminal conviction are especially acute on younger people. If a person gets criminal offense on their record at the age of 50 for example, they are more likely to already have a job and a demonstrable history of good behavior. While the effects can still be damaging, this person also has less time during which they will have a criminal conviction on their record. Furthermore, if an older person has a charge on their record they can still use their one per lifetime expungment. However, when the person who gets the conviction is younger they face a lifetime carrying a criminal conviction. Additionally, they are less likely to have professional connections and may have a harder time getting and keeping a job. Furthermore, it is a shame to use your expungement before the age of 25 rather than save it for a later date. When dealing with children especially, it is important to retain an experienced attorney to protect your rights, or the rights of a loved one.
Don’t take a risk with your Children’s rights—call one of our Juvenile defense attorneys at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message, we can help you put this in your child’s past quickly, so you can move on with your life.
We are experienced Michigan attorneys with offices in Troy, MI.
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