Juvenile Delinquency and CHINS (Child in Need of Services) petitions are serious matters that may have long-term consequences, including placement outside of the home or at juvenile detention center.
At Samdperil & Welsh, we have experience in representing New Hampshire juveniles in both of these matters.
New Hampshire and Juvenile Delinquency
In New Hampshire, juvenile crimes are prosecuted in either the local district court or the regional family court. The juvenile delinquency statutes apply only to persons under the age of 17. Persons 17 years or older are prosecuted as adults.
In most cases, if the juvenile's crime is found to be true, the juvenile is placed on conditional release (probation), given community service, or ordered to pay a fine or make restitution. The court may also order counseling or involve the local school system.
How the State Treats Serious Juvenile Crimes
In more serious cases or cases where the juvenile's crimes repeatedly violates the law, the court may place the juvenile out of the home in a shelter, group home, or the state's detention facility, the Youth Development Center (YDC).
In the most serious cases, the prosecutor may try to have a juvenile certified as an adult and transfer the case to the superior court for prosecution.
Juvenile Crimes in NH Courts
Juvenile crime court proceedings are closed proceedings, meaning that they are not open to the public and members of the public cannot review juvenile court files. In certain types of cases, the media may obtain limited information about a juvenile crime case.
Many people think that once a juvenile becomes an adult, the juvenile's criminal record is erased or expunged. This is not correct.
When a juvenile turns 17, court records remain inaccessible to the public. However, those records are still available to the courts, police, and certain other government agencies.
Protecting Your Child's Rights
If you have other questions about a Juvenile Delinquency or CHINS case, call us.
We have been representing juvenile crimes in New Hampshire courts for over a decade. We offer realistic and practical advice, and we will vigorously protect your child's rights.