Juvenile court is a separate legal system from adult court and has different rules, procedures, and punishments. Juvenile courts are designed to focus on rehabilitation rather than punishment, since it is assumed that minors lack the same level of maturity as adults.
In juvenile court, proceedings are usually closed to the public in order to protect the minor’s privacy. The judge also has more discretion when it comes to sentencing a minor than they would in adult court. For example, instead of imposing a jail sentence or fine, the judge may choose to order counseling or community service.
Finally, minors who are convicted in juvenile court do not receive criminal records as adults do. This ensures that minors have a chance at rehabilitation and can start fresh once they reach adulthood.