Juvenile vs Adult Courts: Comparing a Case Study - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  1022 Words
Date:  2023-02-07


A court provides the attainment of justice. This paper compares juvenile courts with adult ones. It analyses a juvenile case, and It discusses what would happen if it was to be transferred to an adult court. It gives an analysis of processes which a minor matter is assigned to an adult court. It concludes by providing reasons why the case was not shifted to an adult court of law.

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Adult courts, as the name suggests, are courts that judge adult people. An adult is considered as a person who has attained a certain age and is believed to have matured in conscience (Miller &Applegate, 2015. The period to achieving adulthood depends from one nation to another. When that kind of a person violates the law, he or she will be prosecuted in an adult court for prosecution and judgment. The juvenile court, on the other hand, is a court that decides for the young people who are involved in lawbreaking.

In comparison, a juvenile court and an adult court has various similarities and differences. As much as law differs, there are things put into consideration when adult and juvenile are tried. It is important to note that the law governs all people equally.

In the past, there was no juvenile court; every person who broke the law was considered an adult. Today a juvenile is prosecuted and judged differently from the adult. This consideration happened after it was later discovered that it is good to separate adults and children concerning court matters. Following the same, some issues had to be put into consideration when a juvenile is prosecuted of judged of violating the rules.

Juvenile courts use petition document instead of a complaint to judge a child. A petition is considered more lenient to a child. Mostly a case in a juvenile court requires the assistance of the family of the child. The family has to be involved since the child is unable to survive on his own. He or she has to depend on parents to maybe follow the instructions of the lawyer or any other assistance. The child needs the parents close to feel safe and secure and receive enough moral support. The parent has to accompany the child to the court, or anywhere the law requires.

Unlike in an adult court, juvenile court hearings are not open to the public. The only persons allowed in during the trial of the case are the parents and probably the lawyers. This procedure intended to reduce pressure on the juvenile. The public might bring the consent of a child to compromise.

When a juvenile is found guilty in court, there is no direct sentence, and the judge has to decide on disposition to determine what is going to happen to the defendant. The mistake might be so minor, and there might be a need for the child to be given a chance to change or be given a light punishment.

Also, unlike in an adult court where the prosecution only offers some legal issues, juvenile court judges offers a solution even when a trial is not in agreement. A judge can release the defendant to go home also if the prosecution is worried about it altering the investigation.

When a child is brought to trial, the language used should be to the level of the accused. Compound terms are avoided to enable the juvenile to understand. At times more definitions of explanations are given.

Smith,16 years old from Atlanta, Georgia, was accused of assaulting two neighborhood boys. The prosecution argued that the boy met the two boys whose names have been banned for their security on their way to the apartment where they lived (Miller & Applegate, 2015). He instantly quarreled them about a statement made by the accusers that he should consider reducing the volume of music he usually plays. He later on assaulted the boys before the police intervened and arrested the accused. This case was bought to hearing in a juvenile court since it involved minors. After the hearing of the case, the judge ordered the defendant to be released on bail after which the case will be heard later. The prosecution wanted Smith to be held in custody to prevent altering the evidence, but the ruling favoured the minor since he had to sit for an exam in school. The case was later determined, and the accused was found guilty of assault. He was sentenced to a four-month inhouse term.

If this case were taken to an adult court, the accused would not have enjoyed the right to be bailed out. This right is because the prosecution can hold a suspect in custody until they are through with their investigation. The case also would have attracted a more severe sentence like imprisonment. This case was brought to a juvenile court because both the accusers and the defendant were minors.


In conclusion, there are dissimilarities between the juvenile and the adult courts. Juveniles have some rights and privileges that are entitled to them. The example above from a case file shows the rights Smith was given. When a child is found guilty of a criminal offense, and punishment is administered, the record of crime in a juvenile court will not affect the future of a child. When a child reaches adult age, he enjoys the rights without a trace of any criminal record. That right allows one to get passports, driving license, and other relevant documents that require a high level of integrity. The criminal record will have been sealed in the court. There are a lot of differences between a juvenile and an adult court. Most of the differences occur in favor of the youth. A juvenile court is fair in its proceedings. They protect the minors from a harsh judgement that may affect their future linewidth the example of the criminal case. It proves that a juvenile court is more lenient, although all courts seek to give justice and protect the law.


Miller, R. N., & Applegate, B. K. (2015). Adult crime, adult time? Benchmarking public views on punishing juvenile severe felons. Criminal Justice Review, 40(2), 151-168.

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Juvenile vs Adult Courts: Comparing a Case Study - Essay Sample. (2023, Feb 07). Retrieved from https://midtermguru.com/essays/juvenile-vs-adult-courts-comparing-a-case-study-essay-sample

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