North Dakota, like all other states, has a separate juvenile justice system for dealing with minors who have committed crimes. This system is meant to rehabilitate rather than punish, and it aims to help minors become responsible and productive. But just because a child faces a criminal charge, that doesn’t mean they’re guilty. Children have rights just as anyone else.
Please get in touch with Sand Law if police have charged you or your child with a criminal offense. We’ll provide aggressive representation, investigate the arrest, and gather as much evidence as we can. Call 701-609-1510 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Common Juvenile Offenses in Fargo, North Dakota
Juvenile offenses in North Dakota are similar to those in other states, and they can range from minor offenses like curfew violations to serious crimes like murder. Some of the most common juvenile offenses in North Dakota include:
- Drug offenses, including the possession, distribution, and sale of illegal drugs.
- Theft, such as stealing from a store, shoplifting, or burglary.
- Assault, including physical altercations or threatening behavior.
- Vandalism, such as defacing public or private property.
- Curfew violations without a valid reason.
- Alcohol offenses such as underage drinking, possessing alcohol, and driving under the influence.
Penalties for Juvenile Offenses
The penalties for juvenile offenses in North Dakota vary depending on the severity of the crime and the age of the offender. Some common penalties include:
- Counseling – Juveniles may be required to attend counseling sessions to address underlying issues that led to the offense.
- Probation – Authorities could place a juvenile on probation, requiring them to meet with a probation officer regularly and follow certain rules and restrictions.
- Community service – Juveniles may be required to perform community service as a way to give back to the community and make amends for their offense.
- Fines – Young offenders may have to pay fines for their offenses, either directly or through their parents or guardians.
- Detention – Authorities could send a young offender to a juvenile detention center for a period of time.
- Restitution – Juveniles may have to pay restitution to the victim(s) of their offense, such as paying for damages or stolen property.
How is Juvenile Court Different from Adult Court?
Juvenile court differs from adult court in several ways. The main goal of juvenile court is to rehabilitate the offender rather than punish them. As such, the proceedings are less formal, and the focus is on finding ways to help the juvenile become a productive member of society. In contrast, adult court is more formal and punitive, with a focus on punishing the offender for their crimes.
Another difference between juvenile court and adult court is the way in which cases are handled. In juvenile court, cases are handled in a closed setting, with only those involved in the case allowed to attend the proceedings. In adult court, the proceedings are open to the public.
Criteria for Sending Children to Juvenile Detention Centers
Juvenile detention centers in North Dakota are meant to serve as a last resort for minors who have committed serious offenses or who are deemed to be a danger to themselves or others. The decision to send a child to a juvenile detention center is based on a variety of factors, including the severity of the offense, the age of the offender, and their criminal history.
Criteria for Trying a Child as an Adult
In some cases, a child may be tried as an adult if they have committed a particularly heinous offense or if they are deemed to be a danger to society. This decision is made on a case-by-case basis and is determined by a judge. In North Dakota, a child can be tried as an adult if they’re 14 years old or older and committed a serious offense such as murder, certain sexual offenses, manufacturing, delivering, or possessing certain types of drugs.
How Long Does a Juvenile Offense Stay on Your Record in North Dakota?
In North Dakota, juvenile records are sealed and can’t be accessed by the public except under certain circumstances. However, some juvenile offenses may remain on a person’s record even after they turn 18. For example, if a juvenile is charged with a Class A felony or a violent offense, the offense may remain on their record for a decade or longer. A Sand Law attorney can give you more information regarding how long your alleged offense may stay on your record.
Crafting a Defense for Juvenile Offenses
If your child has been charged with a juvenile offense in North Dakota, it’s essential to seek the help of a seasoned defense lawyer. Your attorney can craft a defense strategy that will help you or your child receive the best possible outcome. Some common defense strategies for juvenile offenses include:
- Challenging the evidence – If there isn’t enough evidence to support the charges, the lawyer may be able to get the charges dropped or reduced.
- Negotiating a plea deal – In some cases, it may be in the best interest of the child to accept a plea deal that involves reduced charges or penalties.
- Seeking alternative sentencing – Instead of sending the child to a juvenile detention center, the lawyer may be able to negotiate alternative sentencing, such as community service or counseling.
- Focusing on rehabilitation – The lawyer may be able to show that the child is willing to take responsibility for their actions and is committed to making positive changes in their life.
Contact Sand Law to Speak with an Experienced Juvenile Defense Lawyer
If your child has been charged with a juvenile offense in North Dakota, please don’t hesitate to seek the help of a skilled defense attorney. At Sand Law, we have the experience and knowledge to fight for the best possible outcome for your child. We’ll be with you at all times, and we’ll also tell you what to expect through all phases of your case.
Contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation, or give us a call at 701-609-1510.