Recent Crime Could Lead to Change in CT Juvenile Justice Law

On Wednesday morning two teenagers, ages 15 and 16, allegedly stole a BMW in Westport. A few hours later, West Haven Police were able to get the teens out of that car. The 15-year-old then allegedly proceeded to steal a West Haven Police cruiser, crashing it through a cemetery fence and barely missing one of the responding officers. This incident has caused Connecticut lawmakers to weigh in.

Juvenile Justice Law

The Raise The Age Law

Car theft by minors has become a statewide  norm. Local police feel that Connecticut juvenile justice laws are too lenient. 

“The Connecticut juvenile court system is designed to adjudicate criminal cases involving children, while protecting your child’s privacy rights, as well as those of any alleged victims,” says Connecticut juvenile crimes attorney Mark Sherman of The Law Offices of Mark Sherman. “The juvenile system can often be more lenient than the adult courts, which prosecute similar crimes and charges.”

The 2007 Raise the Age Law caused the removal of minors from the adult judicial system.

Juvenile Offenses, Arrests, and Detention

If your child is suspected of committing a criminal offense as a minor, it is likely the detective will request to interview your child throughout the investigation. It is important to note that parents have the right to be present at all police interactions with their children. You should advise law enforcement that you request to be present during all police interactions with your child.

The juvenile arrest process is different from the adult arrest process. Connecticut Police departments do not set bail or bond amounts for juvenile cases. During the process, the child will be either released to their parents with the promise of appearing in court, or the child will be detained by police and taken to a juvenile detention center wherein they will be held until their arraignment the next business day. 

Juvenile Court Cases

Your child’s cases will be reviewed by court personnel prior to their arraignment. The court will designate the case as judicial or non-judicial based on the severity of the crime. Non-judicial cases are for less serious juvenile offenses and are removed from the court process. The case will then be handed to a probation officer who will work with your child to monitor the case and allocate  the appropriate punishment. 

Judicial juvenile cases are presided over by a Superior court judge and the child’s defense attorney will negotiate for a plea bargain. If an agreement cannot be reached, the case will go to trial.

Your child’s case may be designated as judicial if:

  • The nature of the charges is more serious (felony charges)
  • The child has a history of juvenile delinquency
  • The charge involves the sale of drugs or possession of firearms
  • The child does not work with their probation officer or follow their recommendations

Contact an Attorney for Assistance with Juvenile Criminal Cases

The team at the Law Offices of Mark Sherman is highly knowledgeable in regards to  juvenile criminal cases. Our  seasoned litigators can work with you and potentially help your case. Our team is committed to providing the best results for our clients and treating them with the utmost respect.The differences between adult court cases and juvenile cases can be confusing. Contact us today so we can help to clarify these differences and navigate a way to help your case.