Many crimes are committed in the Philadelphia area each year, and both adults and juveniles commit these crimes. Some of the crimes committed by juveniles can only be committed by people under a certain age, such as curfew violations or underage drinking. However, juveniles can also be charged with the same crimes as adults. These crimes can include assaults, drug possession, weapon possession and even murder. How the charges are handled is slightly different in the juvenile justice system, but the crimes are still the same.
Recently there was a brawl on a train and a couple people suffered injuries as a result. The brawl involved many people and two people ended up getting stabbed. Both of the injured people were taken to a local hospital, but their conditions were not disclosed. It is not clear what started the brawl, but one 34 year old was arrested and charged with multiple crimes. In addition to the adult being charged, four juveniles were also charged with disorderly conduct after the brawl ended.
These four juveniles will now work their way through the juvenile justice system. As mentioned above, the juvenile justice system is a little different than the adult criminal justice system. One of the major differences is that the goal of the juvenile system is rehabilitation. The judges issue sentences with the juvenile's best interest in mind. The hope is that these teenagers will change their behavior prior to becoming an adult.
While the goal of the juvenile justice system is different, an adjudication, which is the juvenile form of a conviction, can have long-term consequences. If adjudicated, the juvenile will need to put the adjudication on job and school applications, which can have detrimental effects on the juvenile's future. However, just like the adult system, juveniles are considered innocent until proven guilty and may have defenses to the crime they allegedly committed, depending on the facts of the case.
Many juveniles are arrested and charged with crimes in Philadelphia every year. Adjudications for these crimes can have long-term consequences for the juvenile, but there may be defenses available. Attorneys understand the defenses to these crimes and may be able to help guide one through the juvenile justice system.
Source: NBC 10, "Brawl on train leaves 2 injured, 5 arrested" Feb. 18, 2014