Juvenile Sex Crimes In Massachusetts

Hand with handcuffs

In this article, you will learn about…

  • The two most common types of sex crimes juveniles are charged with.
  • Whether or not all minors are charged as juveniles.
  • The differences between juvenile court and adult court.

What Are The Common Types of Sex Crimes That Juveniles Are Charged With In Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, the most common types of sex crimes that juveniles are charged with are…

  • Sharing intimate photos which are nude and/or sexual
  • Possession of intimate photos which are nude and/or sexual
  • Indecent assault and battery

Courts, law enforcement, and search engines, such as Google, have taken a very broad view of inappropriate photographs being shared between juveniles. Many times sharing these intimate photographs can be misconstrued as distributing or possessing child pornography.

If these photographs depict inappropriate touching or sexual situations between juveniles, you are also looking at indecent assault and battery. This has become a very dangerous charge recently. What used to be considered indecent touching, such as that of the buttocks area or genitals, has been vastly expanded by the courts.

Any type of unwanted touching that has a sexual tinge to it is now construed as an indecent assault and battery. In addition to the inappropriate sexual touches you would expect, indecent assault and battery can also include…

  • An unwanted kiss
  • Caressing the shoulder
  • Touching the shoulder
  • Touching the waist area

In the past, we wouldn’t automatically consider this touching to be indecent assault and battery without context. The courts recently expanded the definition and areas of indecent touching, however, and that’s where many juveniles can find themselves in hot water. Those who commit those intentional indecent touching are now likely to be charged with indecent assault and battery.

Are All Minors Charged With A Sex Crime In Massachusetts Charged As Juveniles?

While most minors charged with a sex crime in Massachusetts are charged as juveniles, there will be exceptions based on the severity of their crime. For example, a minor charged with rape might warrant some discussion on whether or not to charge them at a higher level.

Generally, juveniles will meet the standard of charge in juvenile court. Juvenile court allows a lot more flexibility in a way to resolve the case in such a manner that it doesn’t hurt the defendant.

How Is The Court Process For Juvenile Charges In Massachusetts Different From Adults Who Are Charged The Same?

The court process for juvenile charges in Massachusetts differs from that for adults with the same charges in many ways. Here are some of the key differences:

  • Juvenile courts have many more mechanisms by which a defendant can resolve the court process in a way that doesn’t create life-lasting damage.
  • When it is a sex charge, minors often may not have to register with the Sex Offender Registry board.
  • Juvenile court is not looking for punishment, but at how to reform and rehabilitate the minor.

A conviction of a sex crime in adult court will most often result in a mandatory registration with the Sex Offender Registry. In juvenile court, the judge has more discretion to waive that consequence which could have life-lasting damage for a minor.

In juvenile court, they are often looking for resolutions that will lead to rehabilitation and avoid incarceration. Minors are treated with a different mindset than adults, which is the key reason why juvenile court is far more ideal than adult court.

Juvenile court and adult court do have some similarities, however. These similarities are…

  • The arrest,
  • The process of charging you with a crime,
  • The arraignment or initial hearing,
  • The appointment of counsel if the defendant cannot afford an attorney,
  • The discovery process,
  • The motion process, and
  • The trial process.

These similarities impress upon a minor the gravity of their situation and that in itself can be reformatory in nature. It feels very much like the criminal processes are similar, but when it comes to the risk and punishment, the juvenile court is where you want to be fighting your case.

For more information on Juvenile Sex Crime Charges In Massachusetts, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (508) 570-3037 today.

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