The juvenile justice system is similar in many ways to the adult criminal justice system. Juveniles have the same constitutional rights that adults have, and much of the proceedings are similar. Crimes committed by a juvenile (a person under the age of 17) are referred to as "delinquencies." Juvenile delinquency matters are handled by the Family Division of Circuit Court. In juvenile matters, parents are typically notified by mail about when the juvenile and a parent must appear in Family Court for an initial hearing.
In addition to being arrested during the commission of a crime, juveniles can be taken into custody and detained with a "pick up order" (the equivalent of an arrest warrant issued for an adult).
Depending upon the reason a juvenile has been arrested and whether or not he or she will be charged, juveniles can be held in custody pending arraignment, or sent home with a parent to await instructions in the mail.
Juveniles under the age of 17 can also be held in custody in the county jail while they are waiting for trial if:
Approval from the county sheriff is required before a juvenile can be held in county jail pending trial, and the juvenile must be kept separate from adults who are being detained. We understand the fears and anxiety parents feel when their child is in custody and appreciate that you want your child home again as soon as possible. Contact our law offices today for a free initial consultation to learn how we can help you, and your child.
In Michigan, a juvenile is a child under the age of 17; however, Michigan’s Juvenile Waiver Law of 1997 lowered the age that a juvenile can automatically be tried as an adult for violent crimes. Children as young as eleven have been tried as adults (for murder) under this law. Whether or not your child will be tried as an adult depends on the nature of the crime, any past criminal history, psychological history, and other factors that are unique to each case.
The Family Court has jurisdiction over all juvenile cases; so if your child is under the age of 17, and the crime was not a violent or serious felony, they will probably be tried as a juvenile in Family Court. If your child is being charged as an adult, he or she will face more serious penalties than if being charged as a juvenile. For immediate help, and aggressive legal representation, contact our juvenile crimes defense attorneys.
When you and your child appear in court for the first time, be sure to have an attorney present no matter how "minor" you think the offense is. The following are some of the things that take place in court, all of which your child should have a defense lawyer present for:
A bond is the condition under which a person is released with the promise to return to court. Bonds often include bail (money the defendant has to pay to the court). If the defendant does not honor the terms of the bond or return to court, the court keeps the bail money and an arrest warrant will be issued. Bonds can include conditions the defendant must agree to abide by such as not drinking or taking drugs, no driving, no contact with a victim, etc.
There are four types of bonds:
Our law firm is one of the few in Michigan that devotes its entire practice to defending people accused of crimes. With more than 100 years of combined legal experience, our team has the qualifications and determination necessary to get your child the best possible outcome. If we cannot get charges dismissed, we will negotiate a plea bargain in the best interest of your child. If we need to go to trial, we will thoroughly investigate all the facts and evidence involved in the case to present the strongest defense possible.
We take all major credit cards, are accessible 24/7 and visit jails. Don’t waste time worrying about who will represent your child. Contact our experienced and aggressive juvenile crimes defense attorneys today and to get your child the best defense possible.
Over the past decade, the state of Michigan has worked hard to reduce the rate of recidivism (rate of repeat offenders) and there are many programs available through the state to help your child. Two places to start looking for help are: