Juveniles who have committed acts that would normally be considered a crime are treated differently than adults, in most situations. Maryland juvenile crime laws, like those in most other states, provide a process for punishing crimes committed by juveniles in a manner intended to address the cause of juvenile misconduct and protect the community, while avoiding actions that may result in permanent damage to the juvenile.
For this reason, many juvenile criminal acts will result in referral to the Services and Diversion Programs available through the Department of Juvenile Services. More serious criminal acts may result in referral to the state's attorney, who may file an action in juvenile court seeking an adjudication of delinquency.
Overview of Maryland Juvenile Crime Laws
The following chart provides some basic information relating to issues involved in Maryland juvenile crime laws:
Maryland Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings Section 3-8A-01 et seq.
Juveniles who committed a serious criminal act, or who have been in trouble repeatedly, may face delinquency proceedings. The process proceeds as follows:
The judge in juvenile matters may determine the appropriate course of action following a disposition hearing. The penalties they may impose include the following:
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
If you would like to learn more about Maryland juvenile crime laws the following links provide additional information:
Learn More About Maryland Juvenile Crime Laws from a Lawyer
Although Maryland juvenile crime laws are designed to avoid the most serious potential consequences for criminal acts, it's still important that you take the charges seriously. For this reason, it's a good idea to contact a local criminal defense attorney who can help guide you and your child through the juvenile justice system and argue for the least damaging outcomes.
Contact a qualified attorney.