For those who are new to the criminal justice system, facing criminal charges can be a scary prospect, and navigating the system can be downright confusing. When the offender is a teenager, the feeling of overwhelm must be considerable. Teenage offenders, of course, aren’t always tried as adults, but they are in certain serious cases.
Take, for example, a Carroll County boy who is facing rape charges and is to be tried as an adult. The charges include second-degree rape, second-degree sexual offenses, fourth-degree sexual assault, second-degree assault, and perverted practice, stem from the boy’s alleged relationship with a 9-year-old girl.
The illegal activity allegedly stretches back to when the girl was three years of age, and is said to have occurred at the Maryland State Fairgrounds and other locations. As of the end of August, the boy was being held on bond at the Baltimore County Detention Center.
For a young person such as the boy in this case, successfully navigating the criminal justice system requires the assistance of a skilled advocate who understands how handle cases involving juveniles. For one thing, a young person facing criminal charges needs advocacy as to which system—criminal or juvenile—has proper jurisdiction over their case.
In general, young people who are 17 years or younger are secured in juvenile detention facilities when they are arrested, but there are certain cases where the juvenile system does not have jurisdiction. In other cases, a juvenile court may waive jurisdiction and assign the young person to criminal court.
In our next post, we’ll pick up on this point and speak a bit more about how an experienced attorney can help represent the interests of a young person who becomes involved with the law and faces the prospect of criminal charges.