For injuring or threatening to injure another person, a juvenile can be charged with simple assault. Though it is only a misdemeanor crime, it can have serious consequences, especially on a young person who has their whole life ahead of them and doesn't need a criminal record.
Juveniles can be charged with assault if they cause injury to another person, attempt to cause harm, or even threaten another person with violence. Injuries do not have to be serious to constitute assault. The presence of serious bodily harm, however, can upgrade the charge to felony assault.
How does sentencing work for a minor?
Consequences for juvenile assault may include jail time (but not more than 12 months if charged as a misdemeanor) in addition to community service, probation, restitution, and fines. Sentencing, however, is usually geared towards rehabilitation instead of punishment and is typically tailored to the individual child.
Once a child reaches 17 they are prosecuted in adult court, called General Session, in South Carolina. Although, some 16 year olds can be prosecuted in General Session depending on their charges. Even children as young as 14 can be tried as adults.
Minors in juvenile court do not face a jury, only a judge who has the authority to issues and indeterminate sentence, meaning the child will be held until the authorities feel they are safe to be released.
A conviction would also mean a criminal record which can be detrimental for a child not even out of high school. A record can be seen by potential employers and hiring committees at colleges and universities. When a child's future is at stake, you should call a Columbia criminal lawyer who can fight to preserve your child's innocence.