Can a juvenile be tried as an adult in court?



    When juveniles are charged with offenses, they can face repercussions for their acts. They should be held accountable for their actions even though they are not adults. They still have the ability to make their own decisions. However, they are not as knowledgeable as they may be at an older age. This can cause them to make more mistakes. However, if a child that is 16 years of age or younger commits a serious crime or a violent act, then they may be tried as an adult. They may be waived up to the criminal court and tried as an adult would be. The prosecutor’s office and the juvenile judge have the authority to demand that a child is tried as an adult in court. However, the crime must be pretty serious for this consequence to occur. Some crimes that may constitute such an act can include murder, assault, serious drug offenses, rape or armed robbery. In the state, there is an opportunity for a “reverse waiver” as well. This gives the opportunity for a child to be transferred back to the family court instead of being tried as an adult. A criminal defense attorney can help with a reverse waiver action. This may prevent harsher consequences for a child and the ability to protect their future.

    How are juveniles classified?

    In New York state, juveniles are all those under the age of 16. They must be at least 7 years old to be tried as a juvenile. All those individuals over the age of 16 will be tried as an adult. If the child was 16 or younger when the crime was committed, then they may be charged as a juvenile. When a child is defined as a “juvenile delinquent,” it means that they need supervision, treatment or confinement. This could mean that they are more dangerous than other individuals who are classified as a juvenile. It could also be attributed to the mental state of the child. Juveniles must have legal representation while they are in court. Throughout the process, an attorney must be present to represent their best interests. If guardians of the child cannot afford an attorney, they can present their situation to the court. The court may provide support.

    If you or someone you know what charged with a crime, contact Grunwald & Seman, P.C. to schedule a consultation and we would be happy to assist you.

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