Understanding Juvenile Decertification Hearings
While many of these young clients and their parents believe that the juvenile criminal system will adjudicate these matters, we frequently must advise them that a juvenile disposition is not an automatic right.
Introduction - A juvenile conviction therefore does not impose the same stigmaA disposition in the juvenile system is advantageous and obviously preferred for a variety of reasons. Most importantly, juvenile adjudications, even those which result in a conviction, are not considered criminal convictions for the purposes of the accused's permanent record. A juvenile conviction therefore does not impose the same stigma of a conviction in the adult system which can sometimes prevent a person from seeking certain types of employment or other academic or professional opportunities.
The Burden of ProofA minor's amenability toward treatment requires that a psychologist or psychiatrist examine the accused and make a finding of amenability based on his or her (1) age; (2) mental capacity; (3) maturity; (4) the degree of criminal sophistication; (5) previous records, if any; (6) the nature and extent of any prior delinquent history, including the success or failure of any previous attempts by the juvenile court to rehabilitate the minor; (7) whether the minor can be rehabilitated prior to the expiration of the juvenile court jurisdiction.
ConclusionDisposition is the juvenile system is not a right based one age. The prosecution is permitted to charge a juvenile as an adult. Disposition in the adult system carries with it the same consequences faced of any accused in that system regardless of age. The parents of minor's with crime should be mindful of the prosecution's discretion and retain counsel who can shepherd them through this process to minimize its effect on their child's lifetime opportunities.