Juvenile Crime vs. Regular Crime

Juvenile crimes are defined by the person committing the crime. If someone commits a crime at a time in which they are under the age of eighteen, they are committing a juvenile crime. If someone is seventeen when the crime occurs but eighteen when they go to trial, they are still tried as a minor. In other words, juvenile crimes are defined by when the actual crimes occurred (not when the trial takes place). These crimes are tried and weighed differently than regular crimes. Offenders may have rights that adult criminals do not, or may be exempt from certain punishments due to their age. Read on to find out more about juvenile crime in West Virginia.
Juvenile Delinquency

The Issue

Juvenile crime is any crime committed by a person under the age of eighteen. Common juvenile crimes fall under the category of “delinquency”. Delinquency is defined as a minor committing an act that would be criminal for an adult to commit. For example, if a minor committed a violent crime such as battery, they would be charged with “delinquency” rather than “assault and battery”. Furthermore, only minors charged with delinquency can be placed in secure facilities. Juveniles that do not commit delinquency cannot be placed in a juvenile facility. Therefore, these criminals will receive some other form of punishment if found guilty of a criminal offense. Typically, a minor not sentenced to a term in a secure facility will be ordered by the court to attend counseling, or do volunteer community service for up to six months. Essentially, these minors are punished on the basis of time-consuming commitments rather than total confinement.

What You Can Do

If you or someone you know has been charged with a juvenile crime, you should contact a lawyer. Here at Taylor & Hinkle our team is trained in criminal law, and will be able to counsel and assist you legally during the trial process. It is important that you seek the assistance of a professional, as they can interpret the law correctly and effectively on your behalf.

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