Juveniles Tried as Adults
Children do not think the same as adults. They do not act the same. There are biological and physiological differences that necessitate separate legal processes when dealing with criminal charges.
Still, more and more, juveniles are being prosecuted as adults in criminal courts. The results can be significant. Longer prison sentences and other consequences can have a huge impact on the life of a child charged with a violent crime.
If your child has been charged with a crime as an adult, you need to be aware of your legal options. Contact Bird & Van Dyke in Stockton and Tracy, California, to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Why Are Juveniles Being Tried As Adults?
More and more juvenile cases are being tried in adult court. This is happening for a variety of reasons, but mainly due to budget cuts in juvenile courts. Ultimately, it is up to the district attorney’s office to determine whether a case should be tried in juvenile or adult court.
This is an unfortunate move for juveniles charged with a crime. Adult court is different than juvenile court in many ways. While juvenile court focuses on rehabilitation, adult court has a greater focus on punishment.
Minors Should Not Be Sentenced As Adults — There Are Options
Starting at age 14, the district attorney can directly file a case in adult court. However, there are certain crimes in which a juvenile will automatically be tried as an adult: robbery, sex offenses, murder, and others.
If your child is being tried as an adult, you should be aware of your legal options. It may be possible to get the case back down to juvenile court, where the case has a greater chance of being appropriately handled. There may be other options available to reduce the long-term negative impact on a child.