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In the state of Connecticut, the Superior Court for Juvenile matters is granted exclusive jurisdiction over all juveniles accused of delinquent acts. As defined by state law, this includes all persons under the age of 18 who have violated – or attempted to violate – any state or federal law, local or municipal ordinance, or order of the Superior Court.
The constitutional rights provided to minors in juvenile court delinquency proceedings are not the same as those given to adults in standard criminal court cases. If you’re facing a juvenile court proceeding as a minor, make sure the defense lawyer you choose to represent you is well-practiced in cases of this nature. Only an experienced juvenile defense attorney will know how to best protect your constitutional rights in court.
Cases and circumstances vary, but in general, the following rights are afforded to minors in juvenile court delinquency proceedings:
- The right to legal counsel: As determined in a 1967 Supreme Court Ruling, minors have the right to an attorney (or a state-appointed attorney if they cannot afford to hire private legal counsel).
- The right to notice of charges: In the same 1967 Supreme Court Ruling, juveniles were given the right to be provided with notice of the delinquency charges they face.
- The right to have charges proven beyond a reasonable doubt: By ruling of the Supreme Court, juveniles facing incarceration or adjudication for delinquent behavior (as ruled in the juvenile court proceeding) must also have the state prove that charges against them were “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Minors in juvenile court proceedings are also given privilege against self-incrimination. This means they may assert their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, i.e. they cannot be forced to testify against themselves.
Contact The Sills Law Firm for Immediate Help
If you’re facing juvenile criminal charges, you can’t afford to delay in seeking legal representation. Without a strong legal defense on your side, you’ll stand far less chance of favorably resolving your case in a juvenile court proceeding. Contact a Connecticut juvenile defense attorney from our office for help. For your convenience, The Sills Law Firm has offices located in: Hartford, Waterbury, and Westport.
Backed by more than four decades of professional experience and thousands of successful cases, we are fully prepared to help you tackle the criminal allegations that have been made against you. Our representation of minors in Connecticut applies to juvenile residents throughout the state, so don’t wait to call us for help.
CONTACT US TODAY FOR THE DEFENSE YOU NEED AND DESERVE.