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Why minors should try to keep their cases in juvenile court

On Behalf of | Mar 29, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Many minors in California face legal trouble at some point. One important question is whether an adult or juvenile court will hear the case.

It is better for minors to keep their cases in juvenile court.

Greater focus on rehabilitation

Juvenile court has the goal of rehabilitating minors and helping them reintegrate into society. Unlike adult court, which often prioritizes punishment, juvenile court aims to address the underlying issues that led to the minor’s involvement in the legal system. This approach offers minors a better chance to learn from their mistakes and make positive changes in their lives.

Lower risk of harsh penalties

In adult court, minors may face harsher penalties, including longer sentences and placement in adult correctional facilities. These penalties can have long-lasting consequences on their future prospects. These include employment and education opportunities. Juvenile court, on the other hand, typically imposes less severe punishments. It focuses instead on rehabilitation and education.

Protecting developmental needs

Minors are still in the process of physical, emotional and cognitive development. Transferring a case to adult court can expose them to environments and situations that are not conducive to their developmental needs. Juvenile court, with its emphasis on rehabilitation and support services, is a better place to address these needs and provide minors with the help and guidance they require.

Reduced stigma and collateral consequences

Adult courts can carry a significant stigma that follows minors throughout their lives. It can affect their relationships, employment opportunities and overall well-being. By keeping their cases in juvenile court, minors can avoid some of the stigma and collateral consequences associated with adult justice systems.

By taking advantage of the resources and support in juvenile court, minors can have a better chance at turning their lives around.


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