What is the Most Common Sentence for Juvenile Offenders?

Most Common Sentence for Juvenile Offenders - girl crying while hugging mom

If the goal of the juvenile court system is rehabilitation, what is the most common sentence for juvenile offenders?

What will happen to your child if the judge finds the allegations against them to be true?

This is a common worry. It’s what keeps most parents up at night when their child is in trouble. We understand, and we hope that it will bring you some peace of mind to know that probation is the most common sentence for juvenile offenders.

Sentencing Options for Juveniles

While probation is considered the “workhorse” of the juvenile justice system (according to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention), there are other things a judge may consider for the rehabilitation of juvenile offenders.

Non-incarceration options can include any of the following alone or in combination:

  • Probation
  • Electronic Monitoring
  • Community Service
  • Counseling
  • Fine
  • Verbal Warning

Incarceration options include:

  • Home Confinement (house arrest)
  • Placement in a Group or Foster Home
  • Juvenile Hall
  • County Ranches and Camps
  • Secure Track

Nolo reports that in an average year, about half of all minors receive probation as the most restrictive sentence.

Appeals of Sentencing for Juvenile Offenders

Like adults, juveniles have the right to appeal a judge’s sentencing or disposition orders. (Sentencing is usually called “disposition orders” in juvenile court.)

If circumstances change, you can also appeal for a post-disposition change to modify the original sentence.

Remember, the goal is rehabilitation. So a juvenile court judge is tasked with giving a penalty that aligns with that goal. Juvenile court judges also have a certain amount of discretion to make modifications if they are in the best interests of rehabilitating your child.

Getting the Best Sentencing Outcome for Your Child

An experienced juvenile defense attorney can further advise you and advocate to get your child the best possible sentencing outcome for their specific case.

If you need to hire a juvenile defense attorney to represent your child and protect their future, contact us today for a free consultation.

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