If you or your child are become entangled in the juvenile court system, you may be concerned as to how this will affect his or her life longer-term. Like an adult (over 18) who commits a crime, there are repercussions that could persist long after his or her 18th birthday, sometimes called “collateral consequences.”
What Is A Juvenile?
As of December 2019, anyone under the age of 18 is considered a juvenile. The state’s “Raise The Age” initiative took 16- and 17-year old out of the adult court for most misdemeanors and moved them into the juvenile justice system. So now this age group has the chance for a “clean slate” at the age of 18, and the chance to start over, just as if they were 15 and under.
Additionally, the juvenile justice system in North Carolina (as is in most of the US) focuses on rehabilitation, rather than retribution, although incarceration figures into both. Youths are sent to “correctional facilities” rather than prisons. The idea is that the juveniles will be re-educated to become productive members of society, rather than continually cycling through the criminal justice system.
It’s no secret that juvenile males are more likely to commit crimes than females, and they are arrested more often than females. Juveniles don’t always make the best decisions, particularly quick decisions.
Going through the juvenile justice system is expensive for parents, and if they are unable to pay the high-dollar costs of fines and rehabilitation, the charges may follow him or her into adulthood. Because the individual lacks the education, he or she may find themselves unable to find anything but low-paying employment.
An adolescent with a record may be labeled as a “criminal” may face social retribution from family, friends, and others in the community. Some juvenile criminals continue into a life of crime and stay there their entire lives.
Education And Employment
Because more than 60% of colleges and universities include questions about an applicant’s criminal history on their application, juvenile delinquents have a distinct disadvantage for both higher education and employment. While it’s not impossible, it can be difficult to get into higher learning with a criminal history as a juvenile. Many are more likely to ascent to two-year programs rather than four-year programs. However, many arrestees are more likely to drop out of high school, long before they’re anywhere near the point of applying to college or a trade school.
Companies that offer jobs to teenage applicants may be put off by an arrest and/or conviction of a juvenile, and many occupations may prohibit someone with a juvenile arrest record from participating.
A study by Eric Hyla at Illinois Wesleyan University notes that youths with an arrest make, on average, reduces their income $6,000 than their peers who had no criminal convictions. This figure is only for one arrest, and doesn’t take into account multiple arrests. The study also shows that children who grow up with more affluent parents tend to have higher incomes later in life despite an arrest.
However, when education is included, the youth’s future income increases by $3,000 with one year of education. Individuals who were not arrested had two additional years to devote to education, and a conviction of a juvenile conviction does not necessarily impact future income if education is included. Without it, future earnings can be significantly impacted, especially if the juvenile continues committing crimes as an adult.
If the juvenile’s family lives in public housing, it’s very likely that they will be evicted because of the arrest.
Private housing (such as a rental home or apartment complex) may also have a clause that includes activity that affects the well-being of the community. Any criminal activity can put the family in jeopardy of violating the terms of the lease, leading to evictions.
When the juvenile becomes an adult, it’s also likely that they will have difficulty obtaining housing for themselves and their families.
Dewey P. Brinkley, Raleigh’s Juvenile Court Attorney
If your child has been charged with a crime, your first goal should be to keep the case from moving into adult criminal court. You should also find a juvenile court attorney who can investigate and determine your chances at trial.
Dewey P. Brinkley is a former Wake County Assistant District Attorney. He can aggressively defend your child in juvenile or adult court against any criminal charges, major or minor. He will work to ensure a fair trial and that your child’s rights are protected. Call today at 919-832-0307 or use our contact page to schedule your free consultation.