When Are Juveniles Charged As Adults?

Teenage Posing for a Front View Mugshot

As parents, we want nothing but the best for our children. We want them to have a bright future full of opportunities and success. However, sometimes, despite our best efforts and intentions, our children can make mistakes that have serious consequences. One of the most frightening scenarios for parents is when their child gets into trouble with the law, and the possibility of being charged as an adult arises. As a parent, it's critical to know what circumstances can lead to this outcome and the steps to take if it does. This blog post will explore when juveniles can be charged as adults and provide essential information to help you navigate this difficult situation.

What You Should Know

The decision to try a juvenile as an adult is not made lightly. In most states, a prosecutor can move a juvenile case to adult court through a "juvenile waiver." The prosecutor must show that the juvenile has committed a serious crime and is not amenable to rehabilitation. It means the prosecutor thinks going through the juvenile justice system will not benefit the child or improve their behavior.

The most common offenses that can lead to a juvenile being charged as an adult are violent crimes like murder, aggravated assault, or rape. But, other factors come into play when deciding whether or not to transfer a juvenile case to adult courts, such as the child's age, the gravity of the offense, the previous criminal history of the child, and the risk the child poses to society.

Could My Child Be Charged as An Adult?

Suppose your child faces transfer to adult court, and you're worried about what will happen next. In that case, the best course of action is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney specializing in juvenile cases. A good attorney will be able to help you understand the legal process and the possible outcomes of the case, provide support and advice throughout the process, and fight for the best possible outcome for your child.

Sometimes, it's possible to avoid transfer to adult court altogether. If your child's case meets certain criteria, you may be able to keep the case in the juvenile system. For example, if your child's point is eligible for diversion, pretrial intervention, or deferred prosecution, they may be able to avoid adult court entirely. An experienced attorney will know how to explore these options and fight to keep your child's case in the juvenile system, where they can receive the help they need.

Suppose your child's case does go to adult court, and they are found guilty. In that case, the consequences can be severe, including long prison sentences, hefty fines, and a permanent criminal record that can affect their future opportunities for education, employment, and housing. However, even in this difficult situation, there is hope. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to explore legal strategies to minimize the consequences of an adult conviction, such as plea bargaining, sentence mitigation, and appealing the verdict.

Let Us Help

As a parent, the thought of your child being charged as an adult is terrifying. Remember that you are not alone, and there is help available. If you or someone you know is in a similar situation, don't hesitate to contact our trusted criminal defense attorney specializing in juvenile cases. Our knowledgeable team of attorneys can provide the guidance and support you need during this difficult time.

Let Schweitzer & Davidian help the young person in your life obtain a favorable outcome in his or her case by calling us today at (559) 206-2322.

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