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Anatomy of a Juvenile Crime Case

Anatomy of a Juvenile Crime Case infographic

In the state of Michigan, anyone under the age of 17 is treated as a juvenile under law, except for in certain exceptionally serious felony cases.

Juveniles have many of the same rights as adults throughout the justice process, including:

  • The right to an attorney.
  • The right to remain silent.
  • The right to cross-examine witnesses testifying in the case.
  • The right to call witnesses in a court hearing.
  • The right to testify.
  • The right against self-incrimination.

Juveniles who are accused of a crime will have their cases heard in juvenile court. Juvenile courts can decide to do a number of things:

  • The case may be dismissed.
  • The juvenile can be referred to counseling.
  • The juvenile can be placed on the Consent Calendar, which allows for conviction and penalties to be deferred if the offender complies with certain requirements set by the court.
  • The juvenile can be placed on the formal calendar, in which case charges against the juvenile will proceed.

If a juvenile is placed on the formal calendar, he or she can admit to committing the offense and be sentenced, or deny the charges and request a judge or jury trial.

If a juvenile case goes to trial, it will generally proceed as follows:

Counsel is Determined

The juvenile lets the court know if a private defense lawyer has been hired, or if a public defender is required.

Preliminary Hearing Set

The prosecution, defense, and court set a date for a preliminary hearing.

Preliminary Hearing

The first hearing involving testimony from witnesses, the defendant, the alleged victims, and others involved takes place. The prosecution will usually attempt to prove probable cause to move the case forward.


A judge or jury trial will commence, and the guilt or innocence of the juvenile will be determined.


The court enters the juvenile version of “sentencing” in which requirements will be set for the juvenile. These requirements could include probation, anger management, counseling, or placement in a juvenile facility.

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If you are reading these reviews you are about to make a decision that will have a large impact on the rest of your life. I choose Grabel and Associates to represent me in my case and I could not have been more satisfied with the level of professionalism and dedication to their clients. I had the opportunity to meet and work with multiple lawyers in the practice all of which showcased a vast knowledge and understanding of the inner workings of the legal system. When you choose Scott Grabel to represent you will open yourself up to all of his resources. Depending on your case Grabel knows experts in all fields. I worked with polygraph examiners, investigators, and forensics experts. Grabel and Associates will defend without prejudice of innocence or guilt. Scott Grabel was able to lead me through every step of the process with great communication the whole way. I would recommend Scott Grabel and Associates to my friends, family and anyone who is in need of representation. B. A.
Best attorney in state of Michigan. Caring and a true friend. Scott was with us every step of the way. He fought for a great injustice for our son and was able to provide an outcome that gave his life back. L. A.
Scott and his firm did an awesome job representing a family member of mine, I would highly recommend him and his firm! They were extremely reliable, trustworthy and very informative and did a great job with the case. I couldn't be happier with the results that we received, I can't speak highly enough about the great job he did. If you are thinking about using his firm, I would highly recommend, I would definitely use his firm again if needed, he is an a great attorney with a great firm, you won't be disappointed! M. F.