For those unfamiliar with juvenile law, this very important field can seem insignificant beside a career in regular adult law. However, in many ways juvenile law is a more hopeful field to be in than any other career option you have as a lawyer.
What Is Juvenile Law?
Juvenile law is the law that individuals under the age of 18 are subject to when they commit an illegal act, and includes the Juvenile Justice System, which is operated separately from the regular justice system. The Juvenile Justice System came about in 1899 as a result of United States policy acknowledging the fact that youths age 17 and under differ from adults in their abilities to rationalize a situation, understand the consequences of their actions, and fully understand the laws behind what makes their acts illegal.
Differences Between Law and Juvenile Law
Adults are subject to the full extent of the law, and any adult individual who is sound of mind will be charged according to the severity of the crime. However, juvenile individuals may get lighter sentences or even get their cases dismissed if they have committed the same type of crime. In general, juvenile defendents are given more leniance in judges’ verdicts. Juvenile law is still the law, though — in extreme cases, juvenile defendents can receive equally extreme sentences, even jail for life.
Why Juvenile Law Is Important
The Juvenile Justice System prevents teenagers and other youth from being punished for committing illegal actions without fully understanding tha they are illegal. Often youth do dangerous or illegal things as a result of being misled by parental figures, peer pressure, and even hormones. Children and teens are at a stage in their lives in which they make mistakes to learn, and juvenile law gives them a second chance when they cross the legal line. If you want to help misguided kids and teens get onto the right track instead of in jail, then a career in juvenile law may be your dream job.