In New Hampshire, for all but the most serious felonies, when the State prosecutes people who are under 18 years of age, they are prosecuted under a completely separate system of laws — the laws governing "juvenile delinquency" — and in a separate court system: the family courts rather than the district courts and superior courts where adults are prosecuted for crimes.
Effective July 1, 2015, the cutoff age between "juveniles" and "adults" for purpose of the criminal justice system in NH was raised from age 17 to age 18. This means that less teenagers in trouble with the law will be warehoused in jail, and more will receive the rehabilitative services that they need. Further, the juvenile court system is closed to the public, protecting the privacy of vulnerable teenagers and helping avoid publicity in the news and on the internet, which can follow a young person for a long time. ...
However, under the State and Federal Constitutions, juveniles in trouble with the law still enjoy most of the constitutional protections afforded to adults, such as:
However, in most cases, juveniles do not have the right to a jury trial.
In order to effectively exercise the fundamental constitutional rights listed above, the juvenile must be represented by an experienced and skilled criminal and juvenile court defense attorney. Attorneys Ted Lothstein and Richard Guerriero both have extensive experience working with juveniles and their families in the family court. If your child or family member is being investigated for a crime committed in New Hampshire, or is summonsed to appear in a New Hampshire family court as an accused juvenile delinquent, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
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