When juveniles commit crimes in New York, the protocol is a little different than what happens when adults commit crimes. In New York, juveniles are considered adults at age 16. New York is only one of two states in the country that consider the age of adulthood 16 for criminal matters. However, there was recently a law signed that will raise the age to 17 and then 18 over the course of the next two years. At the current time, the age is still 16.
Criminal cases for juveniles in New York are referred to as “fact-finding hearings,” instead of trials. One other important factor to note about juvenile cases in New York are that the offender is required to have legal representation from an attorney. If the child’s parent or guardian can not afford an attorney, they may be able to petition the court to obtain a public defender. However, the court rarely approves the use of a public defender in a juvenile case unless the parent or guardian can prove they truly cannot afford to hire an attorney.
It is also important to be aware that in some cases, the crime is so serious that the court will try the juvenile as an adult. The case will be heard in the adult criminal court. This typically only happens if the crime is a murder, rape, or aggravated assault and is serious enough that it needs to be heard in a criminal court with a jury of peers.
If your child requires strong legal representation, please do not hesitate to contact our firm today.
If you are in need of experienced legal counsel for a criminal defense matter in New York State, please contact Grunwald & Seman, P.C. and we would be happy to assist you.