A person who is 17 years old or younger is considered a minor under the law. When a minor is arrested on the suspicion of committing a crime, their offense can be placed into one of two categories: delinquent offenses or status offenses. Continue reading to learn the difference between the two types of juvenile offenses, and what to do if your kid was recently arrested on criminal charges.
Status offenses are any crimes that can only be committed by a minor. The most common examples of status offenses include running away, truancy (skipping school), curfew violations, underage drinking, underage smoking, and underage driving.
In contrast to status offenses, delinquent offenses can be committing by persons of all ages and genders. Some of the most common examples of delinquent offenses in juvenile court include shoplifting, theft, battery, assault, fraud, unlicensed driving, uninsured driving, drug possession, trespassing, and vandalism.
Sentencing a Minor
If a minor commits an offense, their case will be brought forth in juvenile court. Sometimes, minors do not have to go before a judge, and instead, are entered into an alternative probation plan with the prosecuting attorney. Other times, a judge will oversee the case and hand down a sentence. Judges have the discretion to sentence minors convicted of status offenses to probation or to the Department of Corrections. They may also order a minor to complete certain orders like counseling, community service, life coach meetings, mentorship programs, or school. They can also decide to close the case.
Get Professional Legal Help
If your child or adolescent was recently arrested, it is in the best interest of your family to retain a licensed and qualified Indianapolis juvenile criminal defense lawyer who can protect your child’s rights and preserve their freedoms. Fortunately, a juvenile defendant has a lot of rights in court. Learn all of them and more from your trusted criminal defense team.