Trying a Juvenile as an Adult in Connecticut
Most of the time, when juveniles commit crimes, they are judged in juvenile court, which tends to be more focused on rehabilitation than punishment. However, some crimes are too severe to be handled in the juvenile system, and the law allows for these young offenders to be tried in adult criminal court. If this is happening to your child, you need to be aware of their rights and your options going forward.
Charging as an Adult Is for Serious Crimes
Most crimes committed by a juvenile are considered to be serious, but not serious enough to merit a life-changing criminal conviction. Thus, most juveniles who are arrested for crimes in Connecticut will have their case handled in juvenile court, which focuses on rehabilitating young offenders and trying to help them understand the potential consequences of their actions. If a juvenile is judged to be delinquent, they can be assigned a probationary period, pretrial detention, or another non-judicial sentence if you have no prior criminal record.
Juvenile offenses can be anything from criminal mischief to possession of controlled substances, but there are other crimes that must be classified more severely. Connecticut law lists a host of specific felonies that are referred to as SJOs (serious juvenile offenses), which by law can be tried in the adult criminal court system. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Assault or assault with a deadly weapon
- Some degrees of larceny
- Illegal “manufacture, distribution, sale” and other purveying of a controlled substance
- Over 40 other crimes that are prosecuted as serious enough to warrant jail time
Try and Keep Your Case Out of Adult Court
If your child has been arrested and charged with a serious juvenile offense, their case is likely to be transferred to adult court. However, even in adult court, your child may be judged to be what is called a youthful offender, which can trigger more lenient sentencing options. If your child is not granted youthful offender status, they will then be charged as an adult, with all the potential consequences (with the rare exception of ‘murder with special circumstances,’ which will be different for offenders under the age of 18).
Some felonies must be charged in adult court, like murder, bomb-making, and home invasion, but others are discretionary. If you have an experienced attorney on your side, your child may be able to argue for their case to remain in juvenile court. Juveniles can usually seek expungement of any criminal record upon the age of 18, but adults cannot. Either way, contacting a good attorney is a crucial idea.
Can a Stamford Juvenile Justice Lawyer Help You?
It is only natural for a parent to want to protect their children, and if yours has been charged with a serious offense, you can try and help protect your child’s rights by contacting a knowledgeable Fairfield County juvenile justice lawyer. Daniel P. Weiner and the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner will work hard to ensure that your family gets their day in court. Call our office today at 203-348-5846 to schedule a free consultation.