When a juvenile is accused of a crime, the case is typically heard in youth court. However, there are some key differences between how youth court cases are handled and how adult criminal cases are handled. In this blog post, we will discuss four of the most important ways that these two systems differ. If you have a loved one who has been charged with a crime, it is important to understand these differences so that you can make informed decisions about what to do next.
Difference 1: The Age of the Offender
The biggest difference between youth court and adult court is the age of the offender. In adult court, offenders must be 18 years of age or older to be tried as an adult. However, in some states juveniles as young as 14 can be tried as adults if they are accused of certain serious crimes. In most states, though, juveniles must be at least 14 years old to be tried as adults.
Difference 2: Punishment Severity
Although youth court cases can result in serious charges and penalties, the punishments are typically not as severe as they would be for an adult. For example, a juvenile who is convicted of a crime in adult court could be sentenced to prison, whereas a juvenile who is convicted in youth court will typically be sentenced to time in a juvenile detention facility. However, even if the case involves a youth, it is still worth hiring criminal lawyers in Mississauga as they can help you achieve the best possible outcome.
Difference 3: Jury Trials
Another key difference between youth court and adult court is that jury trials are not typically used in youth court cases. Instead, these cases are typically heard by a judge. This is because it is believed that jury trials would be too difficult for juveniles to understand. However, in some states, such as New York, jury trials are allowed in juvenile court cases if the juvenile waives their right to a judge.
Difference 4: The Burden of Proof
Finally, it is important to note that the burden of proof is different in youth court than it is in adult court. In adult court, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. However, in youth court, the prosecution need only prove that it is more likely than not that the juvenile committed the crime.
As you can see, there are some key differences between youth court and adult court. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, it is important to understand these differences so that you can make informed decisions about what to do next. If you have any questions about your case, be sure to contact your local criminal defence lawyer.