If your child is facing a criminal charge in Louisville, KY, it’s important to understand the legal implications. The juvenile justice system is complex, and navigating it alone can be challenging and overwhelming.
That’s why having an experienced criminal defense lawyer by your side can be invaluable. They will have the knowledge and skills to help ensure that your child’s rights are protected.
Basics of the Kentucky Juvenile Justice System
The juvenile justice system in Kentucky is designed to protect and rehabilitate young people who have committed a juvenile crime. The laws and regulations that govern this system can significantly impact the outcome of a case.
In Kentucky, juveniles are defined as individuals under the age of 18. If an individual is 18 or older, they will be charged as an adult.
When Can a Juvenile Be Charged As an Adult in Kentucky?
Depending on the age of the child, the crime committed, and other factors, a child may be charged as an adult in certain cases.
Generally speaking, if a juvenile is sixteen or seventeen years old and commits a crime against another person – as opposed to a crime against property – they can be tried as an adult. Additionally, evidence of minor gang participation or committing certain serious felonies, like rape and armed robbery, can also result in being charged as an adult.
Finally, children who are 16 years or older and are arrested for a motor vehicle offense will be treated and tried as adults.
If your child has been accused of a crime that is likely to get them charged as an adult, it’s essential to get experienced legal help right away. An experienced juvenile crimes attorney may be able to keep the case in juvenile court, which has significant advantages over criminal court proceedings.
What Are the Advantages of Juvenile Court?
As a parent, you should understand the differences between juvenile court and adult court, especially when it comes to your child’s case. In Kentucky, juvenile court is designed to provide rehabilitation for young offenders and keep them out of the adult criminal justice system.
Here are some of the advantages of keeping your child’s case in juvenile court instead of adult court:
- Juvenile courts are focused on rehabilitation rather than punishment. The goal is to help young people learn from their mistakes and become productive members of society. This means that instead of jail time or fines, juveniles may be ordered to participate in counseling programs or community service activities.
- Juvenile proceedings are confidential and not open to the public like adult criminal cases. This helps protect your child’s privacy and ensures that any records related to their case remain sealed.
- In some circumstances, juveniles have more rights than adults have in the criminal justice system. For example, juveniles cannot be sentenced to death or life without parole if convicted in a juvenile court.
- Juveniles who successfully complete their sentence may have their record expunged after reaching adulthood so that it does not follow them throughout their lives. This can help ensure that young offenders do not face long-term consequences for their actions as adults.
Overall, there are many benefits to keeping your child’s case in juvenile court instead of adult court in Kentucky. By understanding these advantages and working with an experienced attorney who specializes in juvenile law, you can ensure that your child receives fair treatment under the law and has the best chance at success after completing their sentence.
What Happens When a Child Is Detained in the Kentucky Juvenile System?
When a child is detained by the county, it can be an incredibly difficult and confusing time for both the child and their family.
The child has certain rights, including the right to a confidential juvenile detention hearing within 24 or 48 hours, depending on the offense. At the detention hearing, the court will determine if the child can go home or whether they’ll remain in custody.
At the arraignment, the child will be advised of their rights and have an opportunity to admit or deny any charges.
If they decide to make an admission – which is essentially pleading guilty – their case will proceed to a disposition hearing, which is the same as a sentencing hearing for an adult. At this hearing, the judge will consider factors such as age, prior record, and seriousness of the offense when determining what type of sentence should be imposed.
If your child denies the offense, their case proceeds to an adjudication hearing, which is basically a trial. At this hearing, your child will be found not guilty or delinquent. If found delinquent, there will be a disposition hearing to decide on the sentence.
The Effects of Juvenile Detention on Young Offenders
Juvenile detention centers are meant to provide a safe environment for children who have committed crimes, but the long-term effects of being incarcerated in these centers can be devastating.
One of the most common effects of juvenile detention is the halting of mental and emotional development skills. Studies have shown that children in juvenile detention centers often lack the necessary skills to develop emotionally and mentally due to their limited access to education, social interaction, and other activities that would normally help them grow. This can lead to feelings of isolation, depression, and anxiety which can further hinder their development.
Another issue with juvenile detention centers is that they can lead to the premature labeling of minors as criminals. This label can follow them throughout their adult life and make it difficult for them to find employment or housing opportunities. It also increases the risk of reoffending in adulthood due to a lack of guidance or support from mentors or family members who could help them stay on the right path.
Finally, there is evidence that suggests that juveniles who are incarcerated in these centers are more likely to suffer from anxiety disorders and personality disorders later in life due to their traumatic experiences while detained. These mental health issues can lead to further criminal behavior if not addressed properly.
Overall, it is essential to recognize the potential long-term effects that juvenile detention centers can have on minors so we can work towards creating better alternatives for youth offenders.
Contact a Louisville Juvenile Crimes Lawyer If Your Child Has Been Detained or Arrested
If you and your child need help with a juvenile legal situation, don’t hesitate to contact Suhre & Associates, LLC juvenile crimes attorney today to schedule a free consultation or call us at (502) 371-7000.