Monthly Archives: September 2019

What to Know If Your Child Is Accused of a Crime

When a minor child is accused of breaking the law in Wisconsin, a juvenile delinquency action is brought against them.  The juvenile justice system is used differently than the adult criminal justice system; the goal is to connect juveniles with the resources they need to correct their behavior and to allow them to avoid incurring criminal charges as an adult. 

It is rare that a juvenile will be taken out of their home and placed in a detention center on their first offense, though it can happen.  The most common outcome is that the juvenile is placed on supervision for a period of time, during which he or she must follow a set of rules and meet regularly with their assigned social worker.  The most common supervision rules include following curfew, following their parents’ rules, avoiding further law enforcement contact/crimes, and attending school regularly (typically things the juvenile needs to be doing anyhow).

Children younger than 10 cannot be adjudicated delinquent (i.e. convicted of crimes and brought into the juvenile system).  Wis. Stat. § 938.12(1).  However, if a …
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