Individuals under 18 are considered minors in most states in the United States. Despite the seriousness of many minor crimes, juvenile crime is still treated differently than adult crimes. One major difference is the juvenile law system views minors as children, lacking the requisite intent. While penalties for a juvenile crime should not be taken lightly, being charged as a juvenile is far better than being charged as an adult.
Police recently arrested six teenagers following a rampage through a New Jersey PATH train. According to law enforcement, the teenagers made their way through the train beating and robbing passengers. The victims in the violent assaults included three men and a woman. Each victim was taken to Hoboken University Medical Center, where they were treated and then released. The injuries were reportedly minor.
The teenagers arrested in the assaults ranged in ages from 15 to 17. Police reportedly arrested the teens at the Hoboken PATH station. The train was heading from New York to Hoboken when the violent attacks took place. Authorities said the teens were taken to the Hudson County Juvenile Detention Center, where they were charged on robbery and gang assault charges. Investigators are looking for additional attackers, if any.
Whether an individual is tried as an adult or juvenile offender can have a serious effect on the outcome of the case. Juvenile courts, for example, often have more latitude with sentencing than in traditional courts. While incarceration is still possible, minors generally receive lighter penalties. Due to the unique nature of the juvenile law system it is vital that minors work with criminal defense attorneys skilled in juvenile law.
Source: NJ.com, "Four PATH riders beaten and robbed; 6 Newark teens arrested," Steve Strunsky, Oct. 13, 2013