In juvenile justince, a juvenile has many of the same rights that an adult has. Juveniles have the right to know the acts for which they are being accused. Juveniles are innocent until proven guilty and the standard of proof by the prosecutor is beyond a reasonable doubt. Juveniles also have the right to remain silent.
Anything said by juveniles to a law enforcement officer can be used against them. However, statements juveniles make to juvenile intake officers or to juvenile probation officers during the intake process cannot used against them in court. In delinquency cases, juveniles and their parents must be advised by the law officer, the intake officer, and the court that the juvenile has the right to an attorney at all stages of the proceedings.
If juveniles or their families do not have the financial ability to hire an attorney, an attorney will be appointed. Juveniles can’t waive their right to an juvenile justice lawyer without the permission of a parent or guardian. Juveniles also have the right to subpoena witnesses to court and to question and confront the prosecution’s witnesses. In conclusion, the accused minor is entitled to almost all major constitutional rights, such as the right not to incriminate oneself, the right to be represented by an attorney, and the right to confront and cross-examine his or her accusers.
The only major right that a minor does not have in juvenile court is the right to trial by jury. The judge alone listens to the evidence and decides whether the minor is guilty or innocent. For more information on juvenile justice & rights, consult a qualified juvenile defense lawyer.