Franklin Juvenile Court Attorney
Tennessee is home to 98 juvenile courts, with at least one court in each of the state’s 95 counties. These juvenile courts handle cases involving delinquent, neglected, or abused children. Delinquency refers to criminal behavior carried out by a juvenile, or minor under the age of 18.
Sometimes a youth comes to juvenile court through no fault of their own. They may be in court due to parental issues such as drug use, neglect, or incarceration. In these cases, the court serves as a substitute parent.
The Office of Juvenile Justice works with delinquent and at-risk youth to provide rehabilitation, treatment, and training to reduce the risk of re-offending and help these youth get on the right track. The Franklin juvenile court attorneys of Beal, Nations & Crutcher can help provide criminal defense and give you the best outcome possible.
Types of Crimes
There are two main crimes that juvenile court deals with: status offenses and delinquent offenses. Status offenses are those that involve age. A juvenile can be charged with a status offense for doing something while underage. Common crimes include smoking cigarettes and truancy.
A delinquent offense, on the other hand, is one that’s a crime for everyone, regardless of age. These crimes are classified as misdemeanors or felonies.
A misdemeanor is punishable by a fine or a jail sentence of up to 11 months and 29 days. Examples of misdemeanor offenses include theft under $500, vandalism, simple assault, and using a fake ID.
A juvenile can be charged with a felony crime if they are convicted of a more serious crime. When committed by an adult, these crimes are punishable by one year or more in prison. Felony crimes can be against a person or proeprty and include selling illegal drugs, arson, armed robbery, aggravated assault, murder or rape.
Types of Services
After a child is found guilty of a crime, there are several options for settings and services:
- State probation. The juvenile court may place a youth on probation, with supervision by a probation officer with the Department of Children’s Services. This is done as a preventative measure.
- State custody. When probation does not work, delinquent youth are placed under care of state custody. The Department of Children’s Services can address the youths’ needs through therapeutic care and education. The agency offers various services based on the child’s issues, such as substance abuse or conduct disorders.
- Secure care. When youth are especially delinquent and have committed serious or violent crimes in the past, they may be placed in a high-security environment. Delinquent male youth ages 13 to 18 may be sent to John S. Wilder (Wilder) Youth Development Center or Mt. View.
Contact Us Today
The law applies to people of all ages. While teens may not go to jail for their crimes, they do face punishment through the juvenile court.
Has your child been in trouble with the law? Need help navigating the juvenile court process? The law firm of Beal, Nations & Crutcher can help provide criminal defense and give you the best outcome possible. Schedule a consultation by calling (615) 861-2304 today.