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Tips for Appealing Findings of Delinquency And Convictions of Youth In State Criminal Court
By Shobha L. Mahadev
thought of missing a critical issue on appeal may make a criminal
defense attorney break out in hives. In some ways, juvenile cases can
present even more dangers in this regard. Although the record on appeal
in juvenile cases may tend to be smaller than in adult cases, this can
be misleading. Because juvenile cases often involve a mixture of
concepts and features of criminal, abuse and neglect and civil law, and
because juvenile case law is often in flux, these cases can offer a
plethora of issues. Moreover, when children are transferred to adult
court there is a tendency for all involved to operate under the fiction
that the child is like any other adult in criminal court. The fact that
the client is in fact still a child can change the lens by which the
attorney can view the issues and present them. Thus, a seemingly
standard criminal appeal issue can have a different context and color
when it involves a young client. This complexity of issues means it
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