Juvenile Crimes Need Individual Attention from a Skilled Maryland Juvenile Defense Lawyer
The Maryland court system treats juvenile’s charged with crimes differently than it does adults. Generally, if a person under the age of 18 is charged with a crime, their case will be resolved in the juvenile system. There are, of course, exceptions where an juvenile under the age of 18 will be prosecuted in the adult system depending of the severity of the crime and other important factors.
Cases remaining in the juvenile system will typically begin with a police officer issuing a juvenile citation. Instead of the case heading directly to court, the juvenile defendant will have an intake meeting with the local Department of Juvenile services. At this meeting, the Department will determine whether to close the case at the intake hearing, place the juvenile on a period of supervision or to forward the case to the State’s Attorney’s Office for prosecution. If the case is referred for prosecution, the State’s Attorney’s Office will determine what charges are appropriate. There are no jury trials available to Juvenile defendants but they can have a trial in front of either a Circuit Court Judge or master.
The purpose of the juvenile justice system is not to punish the offender but rather to rehabilitate, although the maximum penalty for a juvenile offender is incarceration up to and including the juvenile’s 21st birthday. Often, the Department of Juvenile Services or Circuit Court Judge or Master will look to determine what services, if any, would be helpful to try and rehabilitate the juvenile offender, including drug and alcohol treatment or even community service.
The defense attorneys at Jimeno & Gray, P.A., are former prosecutors who understand the juvenile criminal system. It is important that if a loved one is charged with a crime that you look for experienced representation. Call the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Jimeno & Gray, P.A., at 1-(410) 590-9401.