For juvenile offenders, the idea that their mistakes could follow them for the rest of their lives is not unfounded. It’s important to recognize that any criminal act carries a stigma and has long-lasting consequences even after a sentence is served. Keep reading for more information.
The Juvenile System
It’s important to note that the juvenile justice system operates differently than the adult system in that it focuses on rehabilitation rather than correction. In most juvenile cases, the court prioritizes counseling, community service, and in some extreme cases, removal from the home.
Juvenile offenders are evaluated based on intent more than adult offenders. For example, if a minor is accused of causing physical harm, the court will determine whether the child did it because an adult coerced them or if it was an accident. If either motivation is true, then the minor likely did not understand that their actions were wrong. On the other hand, if there is proof that the minor intentionally caused harm then they could face harsher penalties or even be charged as an adult.
While juvenile offenses are often expunged from a person’s record they are not automatically removed. This means that they can be accessed by members of the public or through a background check. It also means that the offense could follow the offender into adulthood.
Depending on the offense and whether it was expunged it could come up during an adult criminal case. Sometimes, juvenile offenses are used as evidence of a habit of reoffending or to show ill intent in the defendant. Rarely, a juvenile offense may make criminal charges more serious.
Additionally, criminal charges of any kind, juvenile or otherwise, can impact a person’s ability to apply for jobs, colleges, the military, and more. Some professions do not allow applicants with any criminal history including juvenile offenses to interview for positions.
If you or a loved one has been accused of a juvenile crime contact the Law Office of Armando J. Hernandez, P.A.