The legal system varies state by state. However, there are many similarities between states with regard to how they handle these types of cases. I will speak in generalities that tend to be true throughout the country.
It's important to note that the age of a juvenile tends to range from sixteen to eighteen, and juveniles can be tried as adults for particularly heinous crimes, such as murder.
Both court systems have a few basic things in common.
- Whether one is a juvenile or an adult, they have the right to an attorney.
- Both have the right to confront their accuser and cross-examine witnesses.
- Both are entitled to the 5th amendment (the right against self-incrimination).
- Both have the right to be given notice of the charges against them.
- Both are encouraged to have an attorney, and both have the right to a public defender if they cannot afford an attorney.
- Perhaps most importantly, there must be proof beyond reasonable doubt for either to be convicted.
There are also some very clear differences...
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