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Easy to Understand Definition of Minor Juvenile

Easy to Understand Definition of Minor Juvenile

Depending on the jurisdiction, the exact age might vary,
but most of the time a minor is considered to be someone who is under the age
of 18, and according to the law, cannot be held legally and fully responsible
for his or her actions. Understandably, minors may be ineligible for using
certain services and buying certain products for which it is assumed sound
adult judgment is required. For instance,
although statutes may vary, generally the age of 18 is the
threshold for the legal ability to purchase cigarettes/tobacco. Meanwhile, for
other non-narcotic drug-oriented products, like alcoholic beverages, the minimum age to buy is 21.         

 

While individual states may decide what age someone
becomes a legal adult, the
Federal Government has also had its say on the subject of minors
and juvenile delinquency. In the 1960s and 1970s, the United States was
especially active in legislating to address problems with crimes committed by
children.

 

The Juvenile Delinquency Prevention and Control Act of
1968 and the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 worked in
concert not only to implement programs at the community level to take children
out of situations that lent themselves to underage criminality, but also to
ensure funds were delivered to states that kept minor convicts away from their
older counterparts in detention. It was the Federal Juvenile Delinquency Act
that specifically addressed the definition of juvenile delinquency, detailing
that minors under the age of 18 guilty of a criminal offense were to be
considered delinquent.

 

A minor in juvenile court will almost certainly be
treated differently than one tried in criminal court as an adult, as a juvenile
court does not have the authority to exact a sentence of punishment on a child.
Rather, juvenile courts will prescribe programs of rehabilitation for offending
minors and will otherwise afford them greater legal
flexibility.    

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