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Term Differences Between Adult and Juvenile Criminal Court in Maryland

In Maryland Juvenile Court, in an effort to “soften” the blow to minors. Different terms are used to describe the process. In juvenile criminal court, a defendant is a “respondent”. The Charging document is a “petition” not an “indictment”. Juveniles do not get tried, rather they have an “adjudicatory hearing”. If found guilty, the minor is not convicted of a crime but rather is “found delinquent”.

If a child is found delinquent, the child is either supervised for a probation period, or committed (not incarcerated) to the department of Juvenile Services. Because the term incarceration is taboo in the juvenile system, the commitment is reviewed regularly by a judge.

For more information, please contact our experienced Maryland juvenile criminal lawyers.