Adult vs Juvenile Crime System: Know The Differences

Not all charges and accusations are the same; the law often differentiates based on the age of the accused. From maturity to experience, juveniles and adults contrast in many ways, and the state of California consequently has certain exceptions for minors entering the criminal justice system. Understanding how California courts distinguish juveniles and adults is critical. Without a thorough understanding of the system and processes, you may unknowingly make detrimental decisions, leading to harsher consequences and repercussions. 

In simple terms, the adult crime system aims to reprimand, whereas the juvenile crime system focuses on rehabilitation. At Aron Law Firm, we will provide you with legal resources, help you understand the complexities of your case, and provide additional information about how the differences between adult and juvenile crime apply to your situation.

Understanding the Differences of California’s Adult and Juvenile Justice System

To provide the proper form of punishment and rehabilitation in your case, the California juvenile and adult court systems have different regulations and various elements to consider before a judge can make a final verdict. While each case is unique and requires a thorough understanding of the law to provide the best possible legal representation, below are a few differentiators between the two court systems: 

Age Restrictions

Minors between 12 and 17 can be tried in juvenile courts in California. While those under 12 can still face criminal charges, they typically will not face juvenile court proceedings unless they commit a primary offense, such as rape or murder. Conversely, those 18 years old or older will face charges in the adult system. These age restrictions are some of the more apparent differences within the courts, but are still very important to understand. In some cases, a minor may face adult charges if the criminal offense is severe enough. 

Distinctions Between Rights

For the most part, juveniles and adults have the same rights in criminal cases. However, there are a few instances where their rights differ. While both minors and adults have the right to remain silent, minors do not have the right to a jury trial and will only be heard by a judge. These also depend on the severity of the crime and whether the juvenile will be tried as an adult. Our team at Aron Law Firm can analyze your circumstances and provide you with clear information about your rights. 

Punishment vs. Rehabilitation

California’s judiciary and laws acknowledge the external factors influencing a child’s behavior, including peer pressure, their home life, and lack of experience. The juvenile justice system aims to discourage future unlawful actions and shield the young individual from irreparable consequences. Conversely, the adult criminal justice system operates on the premise that adults possess the awareness and understanding to recognize their actions as unlawful and inappropriate.

Different Potential Outcomes

The potential consequences for an adult facing criminal charges are much more severe than for minors in juvenile court. A minor may face probation, house arrest, fines, and educational programs, whereas an adult may face jail time and life-long repercussions. Regardless of your age or crime, speaking with the Aron Law Firm is vital to protecting your rights and future.

Contact the Aron Law Firm for an Experienced California Defense Lawyer

Even a first-offense criminal act can lead to long-lasting consequences for minors and adults. When you face criminal charges in California, our team at Aron Law Firm will provide you with the best possible guidance and representation for your case. We have years of experience navigating California’s adult and juvenile justice system and will utilize our knowledge and connections to build you a solid defense tailored to your needs. 

Don’t hesitate to speak with one of our highly qualified, professional attorneys at the Aron Law Firm. Call (805) 618-1768 or complete our contact form today.