The Juvenile System
The justice system has set up a separate system for offenders who are under aged. The juvenile court system is not a criminal court but a civil court and it is more focused on rehabilitation and helping the offenders than the adult courts are. There is more of an effort to protect the privacy of the offender and the penalties are usually softer and more focused on rehabilitation than punishment.
Do I Still Need a Lawyer?
Although the juvenile system is kinder and more forgiving to the offender than the adult system there are still some things an offender should be concerned about. Because the offender is a minor any sort of convictions on their record can have a much larger impact on their life. Also some of the penalties associated with juvenile crimes can be very damaging to the progress of the minor. For example, a punishment of suspension or revocation of a drivers license could prohibit the minor from obtaining employment or traveling to school. With all these things on the line it is important to have an advocate on your side that understands the system and can argue your case as to avoid these harsh outcomes.