New York is one of only two states in the country that considers the age of adulthood 16 years old. If a person between the ages of 7 and 15 years, 11 months old commits a crime, they will be tried as a juvenile. These cases are not handled in New York’s criminal court and instead are heard in Family Court. Please note that there are certain situations where juveniles can be tried as adults because of the nature and severity of the crimes they have committed. However, upgrading a crime to an adult case is only for violent crimes committed by children aged 13 and up.
One of the most important laws to be aware of is that in New York State, juveniles charged with a crime are required to have the representation of an attorney. In the majority of situations, the state requires that the parents pay for the legal fees associated with hiring a juvenile criminal defense attorney. In the event that the parents can simply not afford to hire a private attorney to represent the child, the court may assign one to work on your case free of charge. However, this is rare and will only occur if the parents can provide documentation that shows they cannot afford to hire a private attorney.
When it comes time for the juvenile case to be heard, there will not be a jury. The court will conduct an investigation into the home and school life of the child and see if they should also receive a mental evaluation. If your child has committed a crime, contact an experienced juvenile crime attorney who can work to protect their future.
If you are in need of experienced legal counsel in New York State, please contact Grunwald & Seman, P.C. and we would be happy to assist you.