Adjudicated Delinquent is the term in Pennsylvania Juvenile Court for when a Defendant is either found guilty or pleads guilty to a misdemeanor or felony crime. In Juvenile Court the term "guilty" is never used. Instead a juvenile is adjudicated delinquent. For the most part, the term adjudicated delinquent has the same legal ramifications as a finding of guilt in adult criminal court in Pennsylvania. Juvenile Criminal Lawyers If your child is being investigated or is charged with a criminal offense, make sure to hire an experienced juvenile criminal defense attorney to represent him.
Juvenile Court has many similarities to adult court in Pennsylvania, but also many differences. The primary differences in Juvenile Court as opposed to adult court are that a juvenile may not be questioned by the police without the presence and consent of a legal guardian or parent. A juvenile is not entitled to have a jury trial unless he has been accused with an offense that is so serious he is certified and charged as an adult even though he is under the age of eighteen. And unlike a guilty plea in adult court, an adjudication can be expunged from the juvenile's criminal record. Generally, a juvenile charge may be expunged even though the juvenile was adjudicated delinquent of the offense, if five years have passed since the closing of the case.
Some of the similarities involving juvenile court and adult court in Pennsylvania is that Megan's Law applies to juveniles just as it applies to adults. If a juvenile is adjudicated delinquent of committing certain sex offenses he will have to file as a sex offender and will be subject to the requirements of Megan's Law. adjudicated delinquent Megan's Law Additionally, a juvenile may also file Motion's to Suppress the evidence obtained against him and ask the Court for a Bench trial (a hearing before a Judge) who will decide whether the government can prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.