Juvenile delinquency is a general term referring to crimes committed by minors or juvenile delinquents. The definition of a minor may vary from state to state and country to country, but a minor is generally considered an individual under a certain age, usually 18 or 21 years old. An attorney-at-law who represents a juvenile is referred to as a juvenile lawyer.
A juvenile delinquent is treated differently than the usual criminal offender. Because the criminal is a minor, he or she is not punished in the same manner an adult criminal is due to his or her emotional and mental development. It is the job of a juvenile lawyer to ensure that a minor guilty of juvenile delinquency is placed in a juvenile detention center rather than an actual prison. It is the duty of the juvenile lawyer to pursue what is in the best interests of the juvenile he or she is representing in court.
It is common for a juvenile lawyer to seek the best possible outcome for his or her client. However, it is not unusual for a juvenile delinquent to be found to be guilty. Once found guilty, a juvenile lawyer will seek a less severe form of punishment, usually some form of rehabilitation within the confines of a juvenile detention center rather than a punishment much more severe. When placed in the custody of a juvenile detention center, a juvenile delinquent is given access to education, counseling, and other programs that can facilitate his or her rehabilitation.