Underage drinking, using a fake ID to gamble, and other charges against minors can result in a slap on the wrist or in life-changing legal consequences. As a minor or a parent of a minor in Las Vegas, you need to understand Nevada’s juvenile court system and its surrounding laws to ensure legal protection.
Juvenile Court Jurisdiction
Nevada juvenile courts take teens and even children who commit criminal offenses very seriously. Under certain circumstances, the teens can find themselves subject to the jurisdiction of adult courts. If your child is a minor accused of criminal activity, you need to consult a lawyer immediately to take the proper steps to diminish the legal ramifications.
The state legislature believes juvenile courts should aim to rehabilitate and provide intervention for juvenile criminals, not just punish them. However, this does not mean juveniles who commit criminal acts will face no consequences. If the juvenile courts find a minor guilty of an offense, it may affect the child’s future regardless of having a sealed record.
When Do the Courts Try Minors as Adults?
In Nevada, the juvenile courts are not equipped to handle murder or attempted murder charges. Thus, the courts try these children as adults. In other cases where the minor is accused of a particularly heinous crime, the juvenile courts may also move the case to criminal courts. Even for minor crimes, the district attorney has the right to request the courts try a child like an adult if circumstances call for such an action.
For example, the courts recently tried a 15-year-old boy, Christopher Brown, in Clark County as an adult for the killing of an innocent bystander. Brown ran down his victims and opened fire, killing one woman and injuring two others. Clark County juvenile courts turned this case over to the criminal courts, where jurors will try Brown as an adult.
If a minor’s alleged offense is extremely violent or heinous, the juvenile courts will turn over the case to the criminal courts. For most felony cases, the courts may try an individual who is 14 or older as an adult. In an instance of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault, the court will try individuals 16 and older as adults.
If the minor has been adjudicated previously for an offense, it increases the minor’s chances of the juvenile courts turning over the case to the criminal courts. In any cases that do not involve murder or attempted murder, the prosecutor must make a motion to the court to request the child be tried as an adult.
What are a Minor’s Rights?
If your child is a minor facing criminal charges in Las Vegas, you need to understand the juvenile court process. The child is usually released from custody as long as the parent agrees to bring the minor back on his or her court date. For more-serious crimes, authorities may immediately detain the minor or take the minor to court.
There are many different results in juvenile court cases. Every case is different, so it’s wise to get a personal lawyer as soon as possible. If you don’t know your rights and responsibilities in Nevada, a lawyer can help you navigate the complex legal system to your greatest benefit.
If you or your child faces trial as an adult in Las Vegas, you need legal representation from the best in the business. A Las Vegas juvenile crime lawyer at De Castroverde Law Group will keep you in the loop during legal proceedings and fight aggressively to protect the rights of minors in court. We work on a contingency basis, meaning you don’t pay a dime unless we win. For expert help today, call (702) 222-9999 or contact us online.