Features of Juvenile Cases
While a juvenile case is one area of the criminal case, it differs from a criminal case of adults in various aspects. First, a juvenile case is to be subject to the Juvenile Act. According to the Juvenile Act, juvenile means a person below the age of 20. In a juvenile case, after the investigative authority carried out an investigation, the case is to be sent to a family court. After that, a probation officer investigates various circumstances including the juvenile’s family circumstances and backgrounds to the case, and a judge decides whether he will commence hearing or not. Generally, a judge concludes the proceedings about the fact of the delinquency and make a decision on protective measure in one date of hearing. In the proceedings of a family court, not only an investigation of the criminal fact but also a juvenile’s family circumstances and personality are what counts. It is because that the Juvenile Act has the idea to reclaim juveniles through the protective measures concerning the remediation of their personality and environmental arrangements from the standpoint of the sound upbringing of juveniles.
In a juvenile case, a judge places the most importance on whether it is possible to imagine the future of rehabilitation of a juvenile when the judge decides the protective measures. Of course, the seriousness of a crime itself is considered as the prerequisite, however; a severe disposition may be handed down if a judge assesses that he cannot expect reform of a juvenile with a treatment in a society considering behavior, personality and environment of the juvenile, even in a petty case.
AICHI Criminal Cases Law Firm not only faces with a case but also comes face-to-face with a juvenile him/herself, and is committed to find the best solution for the juvenile by providing with full supports and cooperating with environmental arrangement to assist in rehabilitation and development of the juvenile.
Flow of the Proceedings of Juvenile Case
Roles of a Lawyer
In cases involving adults, a lawyer who dose defense activities for the suspect or accused is called “counsel”, however; in cases involving juveniles “attendant”. The proceedings of juvenile hearing and decision differ from the adversarial proceedings in criminal cases. The attendant not only protects the legitimate benefits of juveniles and does adequate defense activities but also has a role as a cooperator of a family court in achieving the purpose of Juvenile Act such as rehabilitation and sound development of juvenile.
Therefore, the role of the attendant is very important.
The purpose of juvenile hearing and decision is not to punish juveniles but rehabilitate them. Thus, the main defense activities in juvenile criminal cases is to make a rehabilitation plan for a juvenile together with the family of the juvenile and modify his/her environment so that the attendant can persuade a judge of a family court to accept that the juvenile is able to rehabilitate him/herself in a society. For clemency for a juvenile, it is important to show a rehabilitation plan that is feasible and is able to realize true rehabilitation. The best rehabilitation plan depends on each juvenile as each juvenile case differs in its backgrounds and environment.
Lawyers who deal with a lot of juvenile criminal cases have seen many paths to rehabilitation of juveniles.
They can float adequate rehabilitation plans based on their rich knowledge and experience in juvenile criminal cases. AICHI Criminal Cases Law Firm has dealt with a lot of juvenile criminal cases and seen juveniles rehabilitated. If you worry about your child(ren), please come to consult with us.
Specific Activities of Lawyers
Activities to avoid detention
In a juvenile criminal case, on principle every case is to be sent to a family court after the investigative authority finished investigating the cases, although the same proceedings as in a criminal case involving adults are taken at the investigation stage.
At the investigation stage, release from physical restraint is the most important defense activity as the role of a counsel. First, a counsel persuades a public prosecutor not to make a request for detention by asserting that the suspect does not meet the requirements to detain to avoid a public prosecutor from requesting detention. Where a counsel deems that it is inevitable that a public prosecutor requests detention, a counsel works on to a judge to dismiss the request by the public prosecutor.
Activities to avoid measures for observation and protection of juveniles
Measures for observation and protection of juveniles takes up to 4 weeks, except a partial exception.
During this term, the investigation about personality and behavior of juveniles is carried out while they spend time in a juvenile classification home. In cases where juveniles have been detained since they got arrested, measures for observation and protection of juveniles are commonly taken immediately after they were sent to a family court. Thus, a lawyer does defense activities including that the lawyer in advance submits an observation asserting that there is no necessity to take measures for observation and protection of juveniles with submitting the notification of appointment of attendant, or has an interview with a judge or investigator.
When a judge decided to take measures for observation and protection of juveniles and a juvenile was sent to a juvenile classification home, a lawyer needs to file an opposition against the decision to take measures for observation and protection of juveniles and make a request to dismiss the decision.
In fact, in juvenile criminal cases it seems very hard to release juveniles who are detained. It is because that it is judged highly necessary to classify mind and body of juveniles and observe their conducts, compared to normal criminal cases.
However, if juveniles have some important events such as funeral ceremony of their family, entrance examinations, or periodic examinations, there is a possibility that juveniles may go home temporarily by a lawyer’s making a proposal to rescind provisionally the decision to take measures for observation and protection of juveniles.
Activities to modify environment
As a hearing puts an emphasis on a rehabilitation of juveniles, to modify their environment for rehabilitation has a great influence on a result of a hearing. Concretely speaking, a lawyer works on to a juvenile him/herself to look back on his/her conducts and reflect him/herself, or to make a juvenile to have a will to improve his/her problems. A lawyer gets involved in family environment, school, or association of a juvenile as much as possible, and takes various actions to modify an environment in order for the juvenile to organize his/her social life.
Through those activities, if a judge deems that it is reasonable to take non-institutional treatment, he may decide not to implement protective measures or to place a juvenile under probation so that the juvenile may avoid getting into a juvenile training school.
Communication with probation officer and judge
While hearing proceedings are carried out in juvenile cases, it is the day of hearing that a judge meets with the juvenile concerned personally. Until the day, a probation officer of a family court organizes information about the juvenile through an interview with him/her. Due to these procedural circumstances, a judge tends to judge a case putting an emphasis on a probation officer’s opinion.
Where a juvenile appointed a lawyer as his/her attendant, it is easier to encourage a judge to accept opinions of the juvenile and his/her family. A lawyer as an attendant is expected to assist a juvenile for his/her rehabilitation by acting as intermediary between a juvenile and a family court, getting his/her true opinion, having a conference with a probation officer on a timely basis, and getting involved in modification of environment. Therefore, if a court deems that a lawyer who is not only a legal expert but also cooperator of a family court plays an active role in rehabilitating the juvenile and reliable, it is likely that a judge accepts the lawyer’s opinions.
Activities to avoid a juvenile from going to a juvenile training school
The way to avoid going to a juvenile training school is largely categorized into two: not to commence a hearing; and, to achieve non-implementation of protective measures or protective measures other than sending to a juvenile training school.
There, the attendant asserts to a family court that there is no the alleged facts of the case, or that even though there is the facts of the case, it is petty and there is unlikely to commit acts of delinquency again in consideration of personality of the juvenile and his/her environment, and persuades the court to understand those assertions.
Furthermore, as the protection of victims is emphasized in these latter days, the out-of-court settlement with the victim has a huge effect on the measures taken to a juvenile. So, a lawyer actively works on compensation and the out-of-court settlement.
At AICHI Criminal Cases Law Firm lawyers who specialize in juvenile criminal cases personally provide with “free consultation”. In cases where the suspect got arrested, we also provide for “the first interview service” that our lawyer goes to the suspect, in the shortest time on the day.
Those who are stumped about juvenile criminal cases, please come to AICHI Criminal Cases Law Firm to consult with our lawyers.