Violent Acts by Juveniles
When juveniles are charged with criminal offenses and violent crimes, their future could be on the line. In many violent crimes, minors could find themselves being tried in adult court and face adult penalties. As your child’s parent or legal guardian, it is up to you to take action to help them protect themselves.
Working with a juvenile defense attorney in Michigan could be the only way to help your child get back on track and obtain the rehabilitative help they need. Contact Davis Law Group to find out how to best approach your child’s criminal charges.
When Are Children Charged with Youthful Offenses?
Under Michigan Juvenile Code MCL 712A.1-712A.32, any individual under the age of 18 is considered a juvenile. Juvenile cases are handled differently than adult cases in the Michigan criminal justice system.
In juvenile cases, defendants are more likely to avoid jail or time spent in a detention facility unless they have a significant criminal record or other aggravating factors are present.
Common Juvenile Crimes
Juveniles can be charged with several criminal offenses. The state’s goal is to keep cases in juvenile court and avoid charging children as adults.
Common minor offenses in Michigan include:
- Gang crimes
- Retail fraud
- Low-level drug charges
- Underage DUI
- Violent crimes
- Non-felonious assault
- School fights
- Minor in possession of alcohol
- Assault and battery
- Drug crimes
Juveniles can face civil infractions, misdemeanors, and felony charges depending on the specific type of crime and details of the case. If you hope to help your child avoid the fallout of a conviction, you must get an experienced juvenile defense attorney on your side.
Penalties of a Conviction in Michigan Juvenile Court
An adult conviction could mean your child may be sentenced to an adult correctional facility. However, most crimes committed by juveniles may be considered juvenile violations.
The state’s prosecuting attorney may elect to file the case in District Court with an automatic waiver if your child is 14 or older or through prosecutor designation if the crime is considered severe.
The prosecutor might also petition the court for a court designation if they hope to secure a conviction instead of a juvenile disposition.
Potential Outcomes in Juvenile Court
After law enforcement’s investigation, the prosecutor will decide how they want to proceed with your case. They may opt to keep your child’s case heard in the circuit court family division instead of the adult courts.
In juvenile court, your child must appear before the judge at their initial hearing. Potential outcomes of juvenile court hearings include:
- Case dismissal
- Pursuing formal charges
- Alternative sentencing options including the use assistance and juvenile probation
- Juvenile diversion programs as described in the juvenile diversion act
- Transfer to an adult criminal court for trial
What Juvenile Offenses Can Be Expunged?
When a juvenile is found guilty of a crime, it is known as juvenile adjudication. To get your child’s record expunged, you will need to get the adjudication set aside. Current Michigan juvenile laws allow up to three misdemeanor juvenile offenses to be erased annually if each case has been closed for a minimum of one year.
The law also allows juveniles to request the expungement of one felony offense annually under specific circumstances. Once your child’s record is clear, they may be able to attend college, be approved for federal student funding, obtain gainful employment, find affordable housing, or join the military.
Get Help from a Juvenile Defense Attorney in Michigan
When your child has been charged with a criminal offense, and you hope to help them avoid having their case heard in adult court, make sure you have an aggressive legal advocate.
Contact a dedicated Michigan juvenile defense lawyer at Davis Law Group for a confidential case evaluation today. You can fill out our online contact form or give our office a call at 313-818-3238 to start working on your case.