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Q) What are the rights of a 17 year old female being charged for assault and conspiracy of bodily harm
The short answer is "all the same rights as an adult charged with the same charges." The landmark case In re Gault
from 1967 states that (almost) all the same rights and rules apply to juveniles
as to adults. You have the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, the state must prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, you have the right to confront and cross examine witnesses and to call witnesses on your own behalf.
You probably do not have the right to a jury trial
if you are charged as a juvenile in a juvenile court
. If you are charged as an adult, you certainly have the right to a jury trial. Most states are set up this way.
Juvenile law is designed more toward rehabilitation and not as focused on punishment as adult criminal
law. Also, if you were convicted, you may have an easier time getting the conviction expunged (i.e. taken off) from your criminal record
. So, there are definite advantages to being charged as a juvenile.
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