As we discussed last week, juvenile justice cases are cries for help and not always cause for punishment. There are many misguided youth in our world. We know that as the parent of a child who is facing the juvenile justice system, you might be concerned about what is going to happen and how it will affect your child. That is totally understandable.
It is often said that juveniles who enter into the juvenile justice system are actually crying out for help. Getting this help should be a goal of the juvenile justice system, but some youthful offenders might not see it that way. The fact remains that it can be difficult for the current system to come up with suitable answers to all of the issues that lead kids to get introduced into the system in the first place.
The Virginia juvenile justice system is one that is meant to help minors who are heading down the wrong road. There are some points in the juvenile system that differ from the adult criminal justice system that many people are familiar with. Learning some of the terminology that you might encounter can help you to better understand what is going on as the case moves forward.
Juveniles usually doesn't think that their actions will affect them for the rest of their life. Sadly, when they are accused of participating in criminal activities, the charges that might be placed against the young person can have a profound effect on the rest of his or her life. A recent case in Virginia Beach highlights this fact.
Juveniles who end up having to face the juvenile justice system are often crying out for help. While it might not seem possible, it is sometimes possible to prevent these misguided youths from embarking on the path toward criminal behavior. When a juvenile does begin to exhibit signs that he or she will follow the wrong path, it is sometimes possible for early intervention programs to help stop the juvenile in his or her tracks.
You know that it's illegal to drink alcohol if you're under 21 in Virginia--or any state, for that matter--so you can get a minor in possession charge, which is commonly called an MIP, if the police catch you, give you a breath test, and determine that you're drunk. When police bust a high school party, for example, they'll often just line people up and give them all breath tests to determine what citations are needed.
In our previous post, we discussed some of the ways that the juvenile justice system differs from the adult criminal justice system. That post had some good information that parents of children who are facing the juvenile justice system should know. On top of that information, it is crucial that the parents and the juvenile understand some other aspects of the juvenile justice system.
Hearing that your child got into trouble with the law is a harrowing situation for any parent. If you are facing this reality now, you will need to understand some basic points about the juvenile justice system. The juvenile justice system has very different procedures and policies than the adult criminal justice system.
A juvenile who is facing the juvenile justice system isn't always facing a very serious criminal charge. In some cases, juveniles can face status offenses. While these are serious because they do affect the juvenile, they aren't as serious as some of the other charges that juveniles might face.