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JUVENILE RIGHTS

THE BEGINNING OF JUVENILE RIGHTS: Prior to 1967, children were not afforded many of the rights afforded to adults. However, in 1967, a 15-year-old Gerald Francis Gault was taken into custody for allegedly making a "lewd or indecent" telephone call to his neighbor Mrs. Ora Cook. According to Gault, it was his friend Ronald Lewis who was at this house who made the telephone call. The court sentenced him to the State Industrial School until the age of 21. The alleged victim was not present any the court proceedings and the juvenile court relied on hearsay evidence to convict the child. At the time Arizona, law did not permit any appeals in a juvenile case. The McGhee Gila County Superior Court dismissed the habeus corpus writ and an appeal followed. The bases for the appeal were as follows: First Grounds for Appeal : (1) the Arizona Juvenile Code was unconstitutional because it (a) did not require that either the accused Gerald Francis Gault or his parents be notified of the specific charges against him; (b) did not require that his parents be properly notified of the hearings; and (c) did not allow any juvenile appeal of juvenile court decisions in Arizona. Second Grounds for Appeal: (2) . the Gila County Juvenile Court's actions constitued a denial of due process becuase of (a) the lack of notice of the charges against Gault or of the juvenile court proceedings; (b) the court's failure to inform the Gaults of their right to a lawyer, right to confront an accuser, and right to remain silent; (c) the admission of "unsworn hearsay testimony"; and (d) the lack of any records of the proceedings. The case went all the way to the United States Supreme Court. In a landmark decision, In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1 (1967), the United States Supreme Court established that children under the fourteenth amendment accused of crimes in a delinquency proceeding must be given many of the same due process rights as adults such as the right to timely notification of charges, the right to confront witnesses, the right against self-incrimination, and the right to counsel.

IC 31-32-2 Juvenile Rights in Delinquency Proceedings The Constitutional guarantees and procedural safeguards in place for the accused juvenile are essentially the same as for an adult defendant, except that all matters in Juvenile Court are tried before the Court, without a jury. In a delinquency proceeding, the juvenile has the following rights: (1) to know the nature of the allegations against the juvenile; (2) to be represented by counsel; (3) to have a speedy trial;

(4) to confront witnesses against him; (5) to cross-examine witnesses against him; (6) to obtain witnesses or tangible evidence by compulsory process; (7) to introduce evidence on his own behalf; (8) to refrain from testifying against himself; (9) to have the State of Indiana by the Prosecuting Attorney prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed the delinquent act charged. The child and the parent must be informed of these rights at the Detention Hearing or the Initial Hearing, whichever occurs first. IC 31-37-12-5 The Juvenile Court can appoint an attorney (Public Defender) to represent the juvenile, without any cost to the juvenile, if the juvenile desires one. If the court does allow a Public Defender, at the time of disposition the court may require the parents to reimburse the county for all or part of the costs for legal representation. A juvenile can waive his right to an attorney if that waiver is joined by his/her custodial parent, guardian, or custodian. The juvenile's parent, guardian, or custodian must have no adverse interest, and a meaningful consultation must be afforded before a waiver is effective. IC 31-32-5 There are no jury trials in Juvenile Court and the juvenile has no jury trial rights. All trials (Fact-finding Hearings) are conducted by the Judge, who makes the ultimate determination of whether a delinquent act has been committed, as well as the appropriate punishment. IC 31-32-6-7

Differences Between Juvenile and Adult Court

In most places, there are differences in terminology in juvenile court. For example:

Adult
Bail Hearing Trial Complaint or Indictment Defendant Verdict Guilty
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Minor
Detention Hearing Fact-Finding Hearing Petition Respondent Adjudication Delinquent or Involved

In addition, there are some really big differences in procedure. In a juvenile case, you normally dont get a jury. Instead, the judge alone decides both whether youve broken the law and what your punishment will be. Another difference is that bail is generally not allowed for minors. To get out of custody before adjudication, the minor will have to prove that shes neither a flight risk nor a danger to the community. (You can use the strategies listed in Preparing for a Bail Hearing). Finally, the courtroom is usually closed to the general public (including the media) in a juvenile case. Ironically, for smaller offenses, the consequences for minors may be worse than for adults. Minors tend to be placed on probation for longer periods than adults, and the conditions of their probation are usually more numerous and obnoxious, with additions such as curfews, getting adequate grades, behaving 2 respectfully to parents, etc. On the other hand, minors who are found delinquent in serious cases and incarcerated may be better off, since their sentences will typically end in their early twenties; whereas an adult might get life in prison. Sometimes minors are tried in adult court, typically in cases involving very serious crimes such as rape or murder. This usually happens to somewhat older minors, aged thirteen to seventeen.
1. The complaint or indictment is the document on which the charges against the defendant are specified. 2. The policy reason for this is that the courts have more interest in rehabilitating minors than adults, so they like to give themselves plenty fo time and leverage to do it, hence lengthy probation with lots of conditions.