Juvenile Delinquency Procedures in Albany

Generally, the State of New York handles juvenile crimes in family court, which has jurisdiction over juvenile delinquents. Under New York Family Court Act §301.2. A juvenile delinquent is a child between 7 and 16 years of age who has committed “an act that would constitute a crime if committed by an adult.”

If a minor is taken into custody after an alleged crime, a family court judge may still release the minor to their parents or any other guardian pending a hearing, according to NYFCA §307.3. If the court orders such a release, it will likely also issue a family court appearance summons to the child and their parent or guardian. This summons obligates the child and their parents to appear at further proceedings.

Finally, a juvenile delinquent must generally go through the following hearings to determine their case: an initial hearing, a fact-finding hearing, and a disposition hearing. Anyone who needs an attorney to represent their child in any of these proceedings should contact a juvenile delinquency lawyer in Albany as soon as possible.

Initial Hearing for Juvenile Delinquents

An initial hearing is one in which the minor accused of a crime appears in family court for the first time. Under NYFCA §320.2, the initial hearing must occur within seventy-two hours if the minor is detained in custody. That same statute mandates that the court appoint the juvenile an attorney if they do not already have a lawyer. At this initial appearance, the juvenile must admit or deny each of their charges, as specified in NYFCA §321.1.

Fact-Finding Hearings

Following the initial hearing, a fact-finding hearing occurs to—as the name suggests—gather the facts surrounding the alleged crime. At the hearing, the minor may enter any evidence available in their defense, as well as rebut the evidence presented against them. NYFCA §341.2 grants the accused minor’s parents the right to be present for this process.

Under NYFCA §345.1, if the court determines that the prosecution has adequately established the alleged crime, the judge then enters an order setting forth the facts and scheduling a dispositional hearing. However, if the court determines that the prosecution has not adequately proven the crime, it would dismiss the case instead.

Dispositional Hearings

After the fact-finding hearing, if the juvenile is found at fault, the court must schedule a dispositional hearing within 50 days to determine the outcome and whether the child should be confined to a detention facility, according to NYFCA §350.1. During this hearing, the child may present evidence advocating a specific dispositional outcome, as per NYFCA §350.4.

Under NYFCA §352.2, the court may order various dispositions for the child’s case, including any of the following:

  • Ordering probation
  • Discharging the child with specific conditions
  • Confining the child to a detention facility

Given these different potential outcomes, any individual concerned about their child’s case can benefit from contacting an Albany juvenile delinquency attorney for further advice.

Retain an Albany Juvenile Delinquency Attorney with Experience in Such Cases

If your child is accused of a juvenile crime, consider hiring an attorney to represent them in their legal proceedings. Your child’s future is important. The steadfast and battle-tested legal team at Tully Rinckey PLLC is familiar with juvenile issues and juvenile delinquency cases, and we can review your child’s case and advise you on their legal options.

A qualified Albany juvenile delinquency lawyer knows how complex juvenile delinquency cases may be and how best to represent the best interests of minors in juvenile hearings. To ensure that your child has the best legal protection possible, get in touch with our firm today by calling (518) 218-7100 or emailing info@tullylegal.com.

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