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What are some differences in juvenile cases in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, any minors who have been charged with crimes should definitely know the differences between juvenile cases and adult criminal cases. In many ways, these proceed in the same fashion, but there are absolutely some key differences to note. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

For one thing, the main goal of the adult justice system is simply to provide sentences that fit the crime. While the juvenile system also does this, there is a sense that the underlying goal is not just to punish the person but to help with rehabilitation. This focus exists because of the way that young people are still learning and developing.

Another difference that may impact the criminal defense strategy is that a juvenile case is often going to lead to a hearing. During this hearing, which is different than a standard trial, social information and other details are taken into account. While hearings may be used at some points for an adult case, it is ultimately going to lead to a trial.

As far as records are concerned, the criminal records of adults are open to the public in order to keep people informed. Minors have some additional protections in place, and their information may not always be made available to the public.

If parole is used, it is approached in both cases with a different mindset. For minors, the overall goal is to help the young person become part of the community again. For adults, monitoring is done to make sure that they are not doing illegal activities that could break the regulations of their parole agreement.

Source: PBS, "Juvenile Adult Justice" Sep. 18, 2014

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