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Conviction for juvenile crimes do not have to ruin one's life

It is likely that most Wisconsin residents heard about the tragic car accident that took the lives of two 12-year-old girls and left others seriously injured. Apparently, the driver and nine other individuals were crammed into a sport utility vehicle and were on their way to go swimming. The driver, now 17 years of age, has recently received her punishment from both a juvenile crimes court and an adult crimes court for her involvement in the accident.

There is no clear indication of how the accident happened, as the passengers all have various accounts of what occurred just prior to the crash. Some say that the driver was pretending to swerve and scare the passengers, while others say she was distracted by loud music. Regardless, it seems that it has been determined that the driver was acting recklessly and was not properly operating the SUV.

The teen was prosecuted in both juvenile and adult court. In juvenile court, she received the maximum punishment for her accused crimes. She must be under supervision until Jan. 2016 when she turns 18. She was also convicted of two misdemeanors in adult court for which she received two years of probation. During that time, she is expected to serve 100 hours of service to the community, remain in school or get a job, and continue with counseling.

One reason that her punishment was lenient is because she was a good student who made good grades. She cooperated fully with authorities and had never been in trouble prior to the accident. This is proof that one's criminal history-- or lack thereof -- can affect the outcome of a criminal case. Therefore, it is important to be fully knowledgeable of one's rights and legal options when facing charges for juvenile crimes in Wisconsin.

Source: waow.com, "New details reveal moments before fatal Wausau crash involving teens", Rose Heaphy, March 24, 2015

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