my 15 yr old daughter who has never been in trouble with the law got into a verbal altercation with her 20 yr old female cousin who called her a slut and my daughter proceeded to throw/shove a rolling desk chair in her direction that she believed stuck her in the stomach. No sustained injuries. She filed a complaint against my daughter for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and its to be heard in juvenile court this week.What do i do? Do i need a lawyer and what will likely happen?
Thanks for using Pearl.com. It will be my pleasure to assist you today.In order to better serve you, please provide the following information:What state are you in?Thank you.
mass/ lowell juvenile court
Thanks for the information.I want to look up a couple of things for you. I'll be back with an answer in about 10-15 minutes.Thanks for your patience.
Thank you for your assistance.
I apologizeI just went to push "answer" and somehow, hit the wrong button and lost it. I will re-create the answer and be right back with you.Thanks again for your patience.
Looking forward to your response
Delinquency charges can be filed against any child that is 7 years old or older. Any crime that exists under Massachusetts law (with the exception of murder) can be charged against a child between the ages of 7 and 16 as a delinquency. Once a child reaches the age of 17, they are considered an adult in Massachusetts, and any charge brought against them would be prosecuted in adult court. Delinquency cases are prosecuted in the Juvenile Court, and are closed to the public. The names of juveniles involved in delinquency cases are withheld from the public, and delinquency Juvenile Court proceedings cannot be covered by the media.
The maximum penalty for all delinquency charges is a commitment of the offending child to the Department of Youth Services (“DYS”) until the age of 18. In most cases, children sentenced to a commitment to DYS rarely stay in DYS custody until their 18th birthday. Most committed children serve a period of months in a secure juvenile facility and are released on conditional liberty (the equivalent of juvenile parole) until their 18th birthday.
In certain situations, prosecutors may feel that a commitment to DYS until the age of 18 is not a sufficient maximum penalty for a particular crime allegedly committed by a juvenile. In these circumstances, a prosecutor may try to indict the juvenile as a youthful offender. Juveniles can only be indicted as youthful offenders in certain specific circumstances. In order to be indicted as a youthful offender, a juvenile must be between the ages of 14 and 16 at the time the offense was allegedly committed.
If a juvenile falls into the 14 to 16 year old age range and has previously been committed to DYS, they can be indicted as a youthful offender for any offense that is a felony under Massachusetts law.
If a juvenile falls into the 14 to 16 year old age range and is accused of a certain violations of Massachusetts gun laws, they can be indicted as a youthful offender.
Although some prosecutions are brought each year under those two sections of the youthful offender law, the majority of youthful offender charges are brought when a child falls into the 14 to 16 year old age range and is accused of a crime that involves serious bodily injury, or the threat of serious bodily harm. This section is most frequently used when a juvenile is accused of a sexual assault, an armed robbery, or an assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
If a child is indicted as a youthful offender, their case will be handled much differently by the court than a delinquency. Youthful offender cases are open to the public. Information about the cases can be released to the public by the court, and the court hearings can be covered by the media.
The biggest difference between delinquency and youthful offender cases are the maximum penalties faced by the juveniles indicted as youthful offenders. A juvenile indicted as a youthful offender can be sentenced to the same maximum penalty as an adult facing the same charge. For example, an adult charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in state prison. If a juvenile is indicted for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, as a youthful offender they can also be sentenced to up to 10 years in state prison.
Almost all juvenile cases start out as delinquency prosecutions. Prosecutors can choose to indict any eligible delinquency case as a youthful offender after the delinquency case is already in court. http://www.cappettalaw.com/lawyer-attorney-1894403.html
The crime of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon has several sub-components in Massachusetts. The law is set out in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265 Section 15A. To convict someone of this crime the district attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
I hope you find this information useful. If you have additional questions, please ask.
Please remember to only rate my answer when you are satisfied with it. We work for Positive Ratings, so it would be appreciated if you would click on one of the top three ratings or one of the Smile Faces. IF you feel the need to click either of the two stars on the left, PLEASE STOP and REPLY TO ME VIA THE CONTINUE CONVERSATION button with the issue that you have. I will be happy to continue to further work with you and do everything I can to provide you with the service that you seek. Thank you. Good luck.
Janet,Thank you for "accepting" my answer. I'm glad you found the information useful. Best of luck to you and to your daughter.xavierjd
Thank you for you help.
You are very welcome. Again, best wishes.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).