According to the Michigan Department of Human Services, the age at which a juvenile comes of age depends upon the context. A child can become "emancipated" at any time between the ages of 16 and 18 years of age. Automatic emancipation occurs at 18 and the legal drinking age is 21. For criminal matters, a person can be tried as an adult if he or she is 17 years old.
A news source reported that a juvenile was arrested after attempted burglary in Lansing. If the news report is correct, this means that the boy or girl suspected of attempted burglary is a 16-year-old or younger. The suspect's criminal defense will probably take place in juvenile court rather than in adult criminal court.
The reported incident began with a call to police around midnight. A homeowner in the 100 block of South Francis Avenue claimed that there had been an attempted theft and a confrontation with a juvenile, who then fled on foot with the homeowners following. A description of the youth was given to the police, who were able to locate a person matching that description on the 200 block of Francis Avenue. The police gave chase and also lost the suspect, until calling in the canine unit which found the suspect hiding under a deck.
The arrest occurred without incident and the suspect is currently being held in the Lansing police department's juvenile detention area pending criminal charges.
The rules of law and procedures are different for juveniles in comparison to adults. The emphasis tends to be weighted toward rehabilitation rather than retribution, although that has been changing over time.
Criminal defense for juveniles is a specific area of law which is not practiced by every criminal defense attorney. To maintain a clean record and stay out of a correctional facility, it may be advisable for any juvenile charged with a crime to consult with an attorney who has experience with juvenile criminal defense.
Source: mLIVE, "Juvenile detained after alleged attempted burglary, fleeing police in Lansing," Brandon Howell, June 11, 2012