Public Offender [Juvenile Law] Law and Legal Definition

Public offender is a juvenile who commits a public offense action. A public offense action is an action, excluding contempt, brought in the interest of a child who is accused of committing an offense, if committed by an adult, would be a crime.

A public offender is adjudicated rather than convicted. No adjudication by a juvenile session of District Court shall be deemed a conviction, nor shall such adjudication operate to impose any of the civil disabilities ordinarily resulting from a criminal conviction, nor shall any child be found guilty or be deemed a criminal by reason of such adjudication. [KRS § 635.040].