Understanding Juvenile Charges in Idaho
In Idaho, if someone under the age of 17 (though the specific age can vary by state) commits a crime, they are often charged as a juvenile. This means their case goes through the juvenile justice system. However, there are instances where, based on the crime's severity or a juvenile's past actions, they might be treated as an adult, leading to stiffer penalties.
At Attorneys of Idaho, we realize that young individuals need robust defense. Their potential education and career opportunities hang in the balance. If you're a concerned parent, reach out to us at 208-314-8888 to discuss how we can help safeguard your child's future.
What Are Common Juvenile Crimes in Idaho?
Juvenile crimes refer to offenses by those under the age of 17, though this age might differ among states. Juveniles can be charged with many of the same offenses as adults. Some typical examples include:
- Minor thefts, like shoplifting
- Violent actions, such as assault
- Being found with drugs or alcohol
- Sexual misconduct
In the juvenile system, the focus is more on rehabilitation. For example, instead of jail, a young person might be directed to counseling or education programs.
When Juveniles Face Adult Charges in Idaho
Mostly, young offenders are tried within the juvenile system. However, under specific situations, they might face adult charges. This can depend on factors like:
- The crime's nature and severity
- If a weapon was used
- The juvenile's understanding of their actions
- Any previous criminal history
This decision can be based on set guidelines or a judge's discretion. If a young person is charged as an adult once, any future charges might also be in the adult system. This can mean facing more severe consequences typical for adults.
The Impact of Juvenile Convictions in Idaho
Beyond court-imposed penalties, juvenile convictions can affect other areas of life. It can impact school attendance and higher education opportunities. Contrary to popular belief, juvenile records don't just vanish upon adulthood in many places. This record can be seen by potential employers, landlords, or even military recruiters.
Moreover, a juvenile's past mistakes can influence any future adult charges and potential penalties.
Rights During Juvenile Arrests in Idaho
Young individuals and their guardians have specific rights if there's an arrest or questioning in a criminal matter.
Young Person's Rights:
- Freedom from unjust searches or seizures
- The ability to avoid self-incrimination
- Option to decline questioning
- Having an attorney during police interaction
- Police typically must try to contact a parent or guardian if a minor is arrested
- Being with your child during questioning
- Knowing why your child was taken into custody
- Seeking legal representation for your child
Remember, as a guardian, staying composed benefits your child. You can ask to see your child if they're in police custody.
Consult an Idaho Juvenile Defense Attorney
It's challenging for both parents and young individuals when facing a criminal charge. At Attorneys of Idaho, we're here to guide you, providing clarity at each step. Protect your child's future by securing expert legal advice. For a detailed discussion, contact us at 208-314-8888 for a complimentary consultation today.