NEW YORK STATE JUVENILE COURT PROCESS
From the point where a juvenile is arrested all the way to trial, there is a complicated legal process in place. An experienced juvenile defense attorney will guide you and your teen throughout the confusing maze in the NY juvenile justice system. Call juvenile criminal defense attorney Andrew S. Travis to represent your child today. Trust Travis.
1. The Juvenile is Taken into Custody
In the State of New York, if a juvenile commits a crime, he or she will be arrested, or as it is termed, “taken into custody.” When a minor between the ages of 7 to 16 commits a delinquent act that would be considered a crime if it were done by an adult, then the child is designated as a “juvenile delinquent.” Such cases are heard in New York’s Family Courts. Depending on the circumstances, the juvenile’s defense attorney can assist the minor in getting the charges drastically reduced or dismissed altogether.
2. Initial Appearance in Juvenile Court
After the minor is taken into custody, the arresting officer may release the juvenile to the parents with a Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT) which requires their initial appearance in juvenile court. This hearing is similar to an arraignment in adult court. In other cases, the juvenile may be denied bail and thus detained awaiting the initial appearance. At the initial appearance, the judge can sentence the child to a Juvenile Detention Facility or release the child to the parent.
3. Fact Finding Disposition in Juvenile Court
Subsequent to the initial appearance, a fact finding disposition date will be scheduled. During this discovery phase, the prosecutor turns over the evidence against your teen. Your child’s defense attorney will investigate the allegations, find exculpatory evidence to contest the charges, or focus on mitigation that will help resolve the case favorably.
4. Dispositional Hearing in Juvenile Court
If the defense attorney and the prosecutor cannot negotiate an acceptable settlement, then a final dispositional hearing will be scheduled. The judge will decide the case without a jury, based upon the presentation of evidence and the testimony of witnesses. During the dispositional hearing, if the minor is found to be guilty of the delinquent act, then the court will impose a sentence.
5. Juvenile Sentencing
At the sentencing, the judge has the following sentencing options:
b) Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal (ACD)
c) Conditional Discharge, or
d) Placement with the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS)
6. Common Juvenile “Delinquent Acts”
Children between the ages of 7 to 16 are tried as juveniles. However, for more severe crimes committed by ages 13+, the teen can be tried as an adult. The following types of delinquent acts are most commonly charged against juveniles:
- Possession of alcohol or drugs
- Weapon charges including possession on school grounds
- Criminal mischief
- Sex crimes committed on a younger child
Attorney Andrew S. Travis is an experienced defense lawyer with proven success in juvenile justice cases. Don’t let your child’s charges negatively impact his or her future. Call Attorney Travis for a free consultation. Call (716) 800-1529.