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Facts About The Juvenile Justice System

First is that the goal of the juvenile justice system is to help the juvenile learn to become a productive member of society. Because juveniles are children, the juvenile justice system uses a variety of methods to help children achieve that goal.

Not all Utah juvenile justice matters are handled on the record. If a juvenile court officer opts not to file a formal case, the juvenile might still have to appear in court or before an official. At that point, the judge or officer can impose an informal sentence that can help the juvenile to see the severity of the decisions they are making. In some cases, this can be a stern reprimand. In other cases, it might involve counseling or community service.

The age of the child matters when it comes to the juvenile justice system. Generally, children under 7 years old can't be tried. In that case, the parents might be held accountable for the child's actions. The prime candidates for juvenile court are from 7 to 15 years old. However, any juvenile up to 18 can face the juvenile justice system. Children who are 12 to 18 might end up in the adult court system if the offense is serious.

Learning that a juvenile has gotten into legal trouble is sometimes a shock to parents. Even when that is the case, the parent likely want to take action to help the child fight the charges placed against them.

Source: FindLaw, "Minor Crime Is a Major Ordeal," accessed April. 02, 2015

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