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Law Office of Gayle J. Brown
A Criminal Defense, Family Law And Personal Injury Attorney In Anchorage Since 1994.

How The Juvenile Justice Process Differs From Adult Charges

No parent wants his or her child in this situation. Maybe a good kid made a bad decision and is now facing the fallout for that choice. Your mind is reeling at what this might mean for the future. It’s also likely that you have many questions about the juvenile court process.

Defendants who are under age 18 go through the juvenile system, which has different procedures than adult courts. Here are three ways juvenile cases are different from adult criminal charges:

  • Juvenile courts typically close hearings and records to the public. The courts will release information about the proceedings to a victim of the crime. The victim also may attend any proceedings.
  • The law in Alaska does not allow for an expungement of a criminal record. However, the court seals most juvenile records within 30 days of an 18th birthday or the court’s release of jurisdiction, whichever is later.
  • More serious crimes in juvenile cases could go through adult court instead, such as a 16 or 17-year-old charged with murder, kidnapping, armed robbery, first-degree arson and first-degree assault.

Another important point about juvenile crimes in Alaska: If a judge orders your child to spend time in a juvenile correction center, as parents, responsible for the cost. It’s a controversial policy. Most states do not use this process.

If your child is facing charges in the division of juvenile justice, consulting with an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help protect your child’s rights. Understanding your legal options is the first step to helping your family move past this tumultuous time.

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