A juvenile court is a court system that entertains cases in which criminal actions are committed by minors. Typically, the age at which an individual is sent to juvenile court is anywhere under the age of 18. However, this varies from State to State. In some states, the person who committed the crime must be under the age of 17 or 16 in order to be sent into the juvenile court system. For a minimum age of juvenile court, the common age is 10 or above. However, there is not a set age at which individuals can be referred to this court.
When it comes to juvenile court, a police officer is the individual that detains the criminal, which in this case would be a minor. While the child is being detained, the officer can do one of three things: they can warn the minor about their actions and release them; warn the minor about their actions and call the parents to pick them up; or detain them and refer their case to a juvenile court. Often the juvenile court referral is done when individuals have committed a more serious crime. However, this crime is usually not on the scale of rape or murder.
A juvenile court works like the adult courts in that there is a trial and a hearing for the individual in which the crime and the defendant are taken into consideration. After the trial, the judge sentences the minor to a duration of time in juvenile hall, community service, or various other types of punishments. Furthermore, with a juvenile case, in the cases of theft or property damage, the parents of the accused are required to repay the victims for any losses that have been incurred.