Currently, minors in New York over the age of 7 and less than 16 years of age are charged with committing a crime, if that criminal act would constitute a crime if they were an adult. The main difference is that these alleged offenses are referred to as delinquencies.
These crimes can include minor offenses like graffiti and shoplifting to very serious crimes like sexual assault and gang offenses.
Raise the Age Reform coming in 2018
On April 10, 2017, Governor Cuomo signed “raise the age” legislation into law in New York. New York state will no longer automatically prosecute all 16- and 17-year-olds as adults. A new offender category of an Adolescent Offender (AO) has been created for 16 or 17-year-olds that commit a felony-level crime. These cases will be heard in the Youth Part of Criminal Court by a Family Court judge. Specialized secure juvenile detention facilities for AO's will be created if the judge determines detention is necessary.”
Misdemanors Versus Felonies
A large part of understanding the new "Raise the Age" initiative requires attorneys to know the difference between misdemeanor crimes and felony crimes. The interaction of the age of your child and the type of crime will very much determine how the law will treat them. Depending on the circumstances they may be treated in Family Court as a juvenile or the Criminal Court Youth Part as an Adolescent Offender (A/O).
Juvenile Delinquency Penalties
The penalties for these crimes if a court finds your son or daughter to have committed these crimes can also range from receiving probation to a much more restrictive penalty where they could be placed away from home for a year or more.
Generally speaking, the more serious the crime and the risk to the community your child faces to the community can dictate the outcome of the penalty. The court will evaluate several factors to determine this risk. They can include this like:
Your child's behavior at home and at school
Their attendance and performance at school
The seriousness of the allegations
The risk of flight or the likelihood they will return to court
Their connection to the community
The age of your child.
Whether or not they have been arrested before
If they have other ongoing cases, or they are on probation for another matter
Other factors that will be presented to the court by a "prosecutor" or probation oficer.
It becomes very important to get experienced attorney involved with the legal process as soon as possible. Even before the police or the court get involved. You have a right to be present if the police want to talk to your child in a special juvenile room in a police precinct. There is no obligation on your part to provide a police officer or probation officer detailed information when they are investigating a crime. If the police or the court have already become involved the right attorney can make a big difference.
Family Court Juvenile Delinquency proceedings and not like criminal court or TV drama's like Law and Order. While the proceedings are similar in nature and many of the criminal statutes and procedures apply, there is a specialized terminology, motions, and hearings that a family court attorney from our firm will help you navigate. A lawyer from our firm will guide you and your family through the complex area of juvenile justice.
Call To Speak With A Juvenile Delinquency Lawyer
Contact the Law Office of Martin Mohr, if you suspect the police want to speak with your child or you are told to go to family court to speak with an officer. If you need more family law information regarding juvenile delinquency matters, contact us at (718) 293-1542 to schedule an initial consultation. Quick action now gives our attorneys time to plan a strategy that will lead to a positive outcome. We will set up a telephone consultation, if necessary, and will meet with you at our office conveniently located across the street from Bronx family court.