If you ask most adults in Arkansas why adolescent criminal offenders don’t routinely receive the same treatment from law enforcers and prosecutors as is meted out to adult offenders, the answer will be quick and simple.
To wit: They’re different.
We just know that. It explains in a heartbeat why a one-size-fits-all criminal justice model cannot possibly apply to all offenders and why juveniles are often treated in a differentiated way.
That doesn’t always mean in a softer or immediately more forgiving manner, though. In some instances, the crime a young offender has committed, coupled with his or her mindset and additional circumstances, will influence authorities to proceed in a harsh and exacting manner, and without regard for the offender’s age or relative inexperience.
In most cases, though, there is appreciation for the fact that young people often deserve disparate treatment and an outcome that is more focused upon rehabilitation than on punishment. Comparatively speaking, they lack judgment. That can lead to uninformed behavior that an older person likely wouldn’t indulge in owing to enhanced appreciation of the risks and potentially adverse consequences.
As we note on our website at the Little Rock law firm of Robertson, Oswalt, Nony & Associates, where diligent criminal defense is a core focus of our legal practice, “minors accused of juvenile crimes usually have more options available to them.”
But they must actively reach out for help to take advantage of alternatives to jail or juvenile detention following a criminal charge or conviction.
Our attorneys routinely help them do just that through our close knowledge of the juvenile justice system. We welcome contacts to our firm to regarding any questions or concerns relating to a juvenile crime case.