Otherwise known as juvenile offending, juvenile delinquency refers to the youth’s participation in a criminal behavior. Various systems have been used to deal appropriately with minors engaging in these illegal acts or behaviors such as detention centers and legal courts. In the United States, a person who qualifies as a juvenile delinquent is someone who is below the age of 17 and engages in an act that can be classified as a crime when performed by an adult. However, there are severe cases when a person who is still under the age of 18 is charged for the crime and tried, as is done with adult offenders.
There have been studies which show there are more youths in recent years that have been arrested for performing criminal acts than when they are still in their early 20s. The rate has increased, as compared to data gathered several years ago. It is worth noting, though, that such statistics could be largely due to a more effective criminal justice system instead of greater tolerance in the past years. Hence, the increase in arrest and legal sanctions has been noted more due to aggressive zero-tolerance policies instead of problematic juvenile behavior.
Generally, there are different categories that can refer to juvenile delinquency. These categories include criminal behavior, status offenses, and delinquency. The latter pertains to criminal acts by minors, and these are dealt with accordingly by the justice system and courts. Status offenses are acts dealt with by the juvenile courts, as well, while criminal behavior is handled by the criminal justice system.
We at the Law office of Lindsay Soto can provide legal assistance when dealing with issues that concern juvenile law.