Macomb County Juvenile Court System

Macomb County Juvenile Delinquency Cases

In Macomb County, juvenile delinquency matters are handled at the Macomb County Juvenile Court which is located at 10 N. Main Street, Mt. Clemens, Michigan 48043.

A juvenile case is assigned to county court where the juvenile resides, not to the place or county where the offense occurred. Conversely, adult criminal charges are brought in the city or county where the offense occurred, not where the accused party resides.

Juvenile Delinquency Cases: Commission of Crime at age 16 or Under

Several states set the age of 18 for a person to be charged with a crime in the adult criminal penal system. In Michigan, a person that is age 17 or older at the time of the commission of a crime is tried as an adult. If the person is age 16 or less, the matter is treated as a juvenile delinquency case. Under special circumstances, the prosecutor may seek to have a juvenile (age 16 or less) tried as an adult.

Juveniles Have the Same Rights as Adults Charged With a Crime

Juveniles are entitled to same rights that are afforded to adults charged with criminal matters:

  • The right to be presumed innocent.
  • The right to an attorney (an attorney may be appointed if indigency is shown).
  • The right to remain silent.
  • The right to have the prosecutor prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • The right to a trial by jury (verdict must be unanimous).
  • The right to a reasonable bond.

In Macomb County, juvenile delinquency proceedings begin when a petition is authorized, a case number is assigned and the case is delegated to a referee. The referee can hear every aspect of the juvenile case and has the power to impose a range of dispositions. Certain matters may require the involvement of the circuit court judge assigned to the juvenile division of the court. Referees have the power to handle trials without a jury; however, if a jury is requested by either the juvenile or the prosecutor, the trial will take place in the before one of the circuit court judge’s assigned to preside over juvenile proceedings.

Juvenile Offenses: Social Media, Texting, Sex Crimes, and False Threats of Terrorism

There was a time when juveniles weren’t charged with crimes reserved for the worst possible segment of our society. That has changed. Juveniles, even those age 11-14, are being charged with serious sex crimes, false threats of terrorism, making bomb threats, using a computer to commit a crime, possession of child pornography and unlawful posting (inappropriate images). Unfortunately, most of the time these charges are brought against juveniles that live in stable family environments, do not have any prior criminal record and perform extremely well in school and the community. Social media, access to a wide range of content on the internet, and the ability to send texts and group messages has made it easy to commit a crime involving sexuality or one that involves the element of terrorism.

The Macomb Juvenile Court has a specialized program for sex offenders known as JSORP. We have also seen a substantial increase in the reporting of juvenile sex crimes between family members. This can be attributed to the “ME TOO” movement and because certain professionals (e.g. teachers, psychologists) are required to report incidents of crimes against children to the police. Sex crimes between family members (e.g. brother and sister) may necessitate a no-contact order requiring the accused to be separated from the other siblings. In addition, there is a strong likelihood that Child Protected Services (CPC) will intervene to investigate the welfare of the alleged victim and other minors within the household. ABDO LAW can advise you.

Other juvenile matters that our criminal defense attorneys have handled include: retail fraud (e.g. shoplifting), malicious destruction of property, breaking and entering, possession of drugs/alcohol, and assault crimes.

Juveniles are Entitled to an Attorney at Every Stage of the Proceedings

The role of a juvenile delinquency defense attorney is to develop a solid legal defense on behalf of the juvenile. In formulating a plan for ABDO LAW juvenile clients, we may ask for a counseling report, medical records, report card(s), and character letters.

The family of a juvenile is most concerned about a criminal conviction and whether their child will be put in the youth home. Let me emphasize, juvenile cases can be resolved with forgiving dispositions which result in a dismissal of the charge after a short period of probation; not placement in the youth home. Placement in the youth home, or long-term placement, is the exception, not the rule. Placement is reserved for juveniles that are incorrigible and unlikely to respond to probation while remaining in the family home. Fortunately, the Macomb County Juvenile Court is one where the judges and referees will bend over backwards to give a juvenile a second chance and keep the juvenile in his home, community and school environment. Getting an experienced juvenile justice lawyer that knows the court system is the first step towards getting a favorable result and restoring a family back to normalcy.

Email or Call Abdo Law for a Free Consultation. Phone messages after business hours are forwarded to our attorneys. We offer same day, evening, weekend appointments and the ability to retain us over the internet. Payment plans and all credit cards accepted.

CALL: Metro Detroit: 586-412-5555 or Toll Free: 844-Got-Abdo