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What’s the Difference between Juvenile Courts and Adult Courts?

May 6, 2013 by

What’s the Difference between Juvenile Courts and Adult Courts?

Criminal courts can change drastically between a person tried as a juvenile and a person tried as an adult. These two criminal court systems both can carry out serious punishments, but there are noticeable variations between the two. If a person has the option to be tried as a juvenile or adult, it may be in the best interest to be tried as a juvenile because of these differences.

The criminal justice system, whether for adults or juveniles, can leave a person working through substantial criminal sentences. These sentences may include a variety of penalties, most notably including detention and financial fines.

However, the following differences may be particularly notable between these two systems:

  • Adult courts use trials by jury.
  • Juvenile courts use trials by a judge.
  • Adult courts carry the potential of much more serious penalties.
  • Juvenile courts use strict penalties, but won’t include adult prison terms.
  • Adult records can be more difficult to expunge later.
  • Juvenile records may be sealed.

These differences may play a significant role in how a person sets up their legal defense.

This informational blog post was brought to you by Jason A. Volet, an experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer.

About the Author

Jason A. Volet
Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a criminal trial attorney, Jason A. Volet focuses his practice exclusively on criminal and municipal defense in New Jersey and New York. He earned his B.A. in political science from Rutgers College in 1995 and his J.D. from the Hofstra University School of Law in 1998. Mr. Volet began his career in the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, where he gained extensive experience prosecuting both juvenile and adult offenders. Now, as a criminal defense attorney, he uses that experience to fight for the rights of individuals who have been charged with a crime.

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