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Juvenile Rights Essay

1251 words - 5 pages

Juvenile rights PAGE \* MERGEFORMAT 1
Running head: JUVENILE RIGHTSJuvenile RightsJules ThompsonAshford UniversityJuvenile JusticeCRJ 301Will CurcioMarch 28, 2010Juvenile rights at arrestAll states, in the United States have family or juvenile courts, who hear cases involving delinquent acts committed by persons considered to be minors. State laws vary on the age at which a juvenile becomes an adult for the purpose of criminal prosecution. When a person is deemed an adult due to age, they are therefore no longer entitled to prosecution under the family or juvenile court system. "In four states, the upper age limit of juvenile court jurisdiction in sixteen, eight states set the age limit at seventeen and the remaining thirty eight states set the age limit at ones eighteenth birthday"(Levinson, 2002, p. 34).In addition to the acts that would be crimes if committed by an adult, juveniles also come under the jurisdiction of juvenile courts for the commission of acts, which if committed by an adult, would not be considered criminal, but are considered inappropriate for juveniles because they are not adults. These acts are called "status offenses" because of the status of being committed as a juvenile. These offenses can include, drinking, smoking, leaving home without permission and skipping school. All of these acts, when committed by a juvenile, are known as incorrigible offenses. This means that the offender is beyond the control of the parents. At that time, the state steps in and acts as the parent. This is known as parens patriae, which translates in to the "state as parent". In most states today, incarceration for the commission of status offenses is prohibited.Most juvenile's who enter into the juvenile court system, do so after being caught by the police for committing a delinquent act. If the police officer witnesses the youth committing the crime he or she may be taken into custody. Juveniles are not arrested; they are detained, in most states "arrest" only applies to adult offenders. If a police officer does not witness a juvenile committing a crime but has probable cause that a certain juvenile did commit a crime, the officer must get a "petition" prior to detaining the juvenile instead of a warrant in order to keep the offender detained.Once a juvenile offender is "detained" he or she must be read their Miranda rights, just as police are required to do when they arrest an adult. In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court heard the case of In re Gault; this case was based on a fifteen year old boy, named Gerald Gault, who was taken into custody for making a prank phone call to his neighbor. At the time of the crime, Gault was on juvenile probation for stealing a lady's wallet. At the hearing for the prank phone call, Gault had no parental or legal representation, no one was sworn in, and no official transcript of the hearing was taken. Gault was remanded to a reform school until his eighteenth birthday. His case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme...

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