Delinquency cases are criminal charges that are brought against children in criminal court. Many people think that delinquency cases go away when they turn eighteen (18) and do not actually matter. This could not be further from the truth. In Ohio, juvenile courts can maintain jurisdiction over a child until their twenty-first (21) birthday, so long as the charges are brought before they turn eighteen (18). But more importantly, contact, especially negative contact, with the justice system can impact a child for the rest of their lives. This contact decreases their chance of successfully completing their education and increases their changes of recidivism, or re-offending. It would be extremely unwise to tackle a delinquency matter without a skilled attorney at your side.
Delinquency cases can be brought as misdemeanors or felony offenses, all of which carry the potential of being bound over with the child being charged in adult court. But it is important to remember that the main goal of juvenile court is to rehabilitate children and give them access to programming which helps them become productive members of society.
In a delinquency matter, whether charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, the child has many rights afforded to them by the Constitution of the United States. They are: