In Pennsylvania, the juvenile justice system, which oversees juvenile delinquency matters filed against individuals who are aged 10 to 18, is a swift-moving process. While having many similarities to the adult criminal justice system, there are also some very important differences. First, a juvenile is charged with a “delinquent act” and not a “crime.” Moreover, once charged with a delinquent act, a juvenile’s case is ordinarily closed to the public. Juvenile delinquency cases proceed to one of several possible outcomes, including, dismissal, informal disposition, consent decree, admission to a delinquent act, or a trial before a judge. A juvenile who does not prevail at trial is not “convicted” or “found guilty” of a crime and is instead “adjudicated delinquent”. Overall, the court’s focus is not on punishment and is instead geared toward treatment, rehabilitation, and supervision.
In choosing Donoghue & Picker to defend the legal and constitutional rights of a juvenile accused of a delinquent act, we understand that the matter is likely to have a long-lasting impact on the child’s future. Careful consideration of case and trial strategy is key, but experience is paramount. Donoghue & Picker has knowledgeable attorneys who are ideally suited to zealously represent and advocate for your child in his or her juvenile delinquency matter.