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Juvenile Delinquency Cases

These are like criminal cases but for minors instead of adults. People who are under the age of 18 cannot commit crimes in the state of Oregon. They can commit what would be a crime if committed by an adult and they can be detained (taken to detention), they can have a petition filed against them (charged with what would be a crime if they were an adult), and they can be adjudicated (an adult would be convicted). Your lawyer can talk to you about the importance of these distinctions and other ways in which the juvenile justice system is different.

Because the juvenile justice system is different, juveniles do not have the choice between a bench trial (judge only) or a jury trial. All juvenile trials are heard before a judge alone. Juveniles do have other important rights and decisions they will need to make.

Your attorney as a juvenile client works for you just as if you were an adult. This means that you have the same confidentiality rights as an adult would have. Your parents are not the decision maker in your case, you are. This means that it is entirely up to you whether you admit to any charges or whether you have a court trial. It is also entirely up to you, if you choose to have a trial, if you will testify or not. Your attorney will tell you what they think is best for your case, but you are the decision maker. Your attorney will also offer to share information with your parents if you want their advice but that is also your decision to make. You can choose to share only some information with a parent or parents, all the information or none of the information. Your attorney will help you decide what is best for you