The Juvenile Court handles cases involving minors (anyone under the age of 18) who have been charged with violating the law, such as juvenile delinquency or other offense. Children who are charged with offenses that would be crimes if they were adults are classified as delinquents.
Status offenders are those children who commit acts that are unlawful because of their age, such as truancy, incorrigibility, and runaway. Status offenders also are referred to as “children in need of supervision.”
The Juvenile Courts also handle the cases of dependent children who have been abused, neglected or abandoned by their parents or guardians.
In Nevada, children who commit murder or attempted murder are treated as adults regardless of their age. In addition, when a juvenile between the ages of sixteen and eighteen commits a crime, which would be considered a felony or gross misdemeanor if committed by an adult, the District Court can certify that child as an adult and move the case to the Criminal Courts for prosecution. Such certification usually takes place when the alleged offense is extremely violent or heinous, or if the juvenile’s past criminal behavior indicates that treatment within the juvenile system will have no value to the individual.
All juvenile matters, regardless of the nature of the charges, are considered civil offenses.