Connecticut is a Juvenile Justice Trendsetter
According to a national report, Connecticut is among several states that are trendsetters in matters pertaining to juvenile justice. The report is based on changes to state law that have been enacted during the last decade. This is good news for juvenile offenders who face many risks entering the Connecticut juvenile justice system.
Connecticut, along with Illinois and Mississippi, have increased the age of jurisdiction of juvenile courts to treat older youths as juveniles rather than as adults for purposes of criminal prosecution. As of 2011, 17-year-olds are considered to be juveniles for purposes of criminal law. Before the change, 16- and 17-year-olds were considered to be adults.
Connecticut is also one of ten states that have amended their laws to make it more difficult to transfer juveniles from juvenile court to adult court. The other states are Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Nevada, Utah, Virginia, and Washington. Transferring youths to the adult court system is a way for states to treat young offenders as adults for purposes of criminal law.
In Connecticut, the criminal laws were amended to make a greater number of 16- and 17-year-olds eligible for youthful offender status. The law creates the presumption that all 16- and 17-year-olds who are transferred from the juvenile system to the adult system are eligible to be treated as youthful offenders, except if they have been charged with or previously convicted of specified, more serious crimes. While the application of this provision is not used as much because of the lowering of the age at which offenders are treated as adults, it can still benefit those who have been transferred to the adult court system.The juvenile justice system in Connecticut is complicated, and if your child is charged with a crime it can have a serious negative impact on his or her future. Do not risk your child’s future without an experienced Stamford criminal defense attorney at your side. Contact the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner as soon as possible after the arrest for the most effective representation.