In the United States individuals who have not yet reached the age of majority are generally viewed as juveniles in the eyes of the criminal justice system. The juvenile law system is very different than the adult criminal justice system, and it requires specific expertise on the part of attorneys who handle these types of cases. Juvenile law, for example, consists of different procedures and different laws than the adult criminal system.
In a recent juvenile case, a New Jersey teen was arrested and charged with the possession of a destructive device. According to authorities, police investigated the 16-year-old's home following bomb threats at Edison High School. Officers claim that during the course of the search they discovered shotgun shells, fireworks and makeshift explosives that contained gunpowder and fuses. Per police procedure, the young man's name has not been released.
Following the search the young man was detained and initially released to family members. Following a court hearing, however, he was sent to the Middlesex County Juvenile Detention Center where he will remain until his next hearing. Despite allegations that the search was prompted by bomb threats at a local area school, authorities now state there is no evidence linking the boy to the threats and are not planning to file more serious charges.
Since juveniles are considered children they are provided special protections, however, since they are minors they also lack certain constitutional rights. To ensure that a juvenile accused of criminal charges receives the protections they are entitle too, and avoids the long-term consequences that can come with a conviction, it is imperative that they establish a quality criminal defense immediately.
Source: WHTM27, "NJ teen held after explosive devices found in home," May 3, 2013