Will My Teenage Son or Daughter Be Tried as an Adult?
Teenagers sometimes make impulsive decisions that land them in legal trouble. If your son or daughter has been charged with a criminal offense, you may be very concerned about the consequences he or she will face. Minors are typically tried in juvenile court. Unlike adult court, juvenile courtrooms are closed to the public and juvenile records are sealed. In most cases, a juvenile offender may eventually petition to have his or her criminal record erased. Incarceration sentences are also typically shorter for juveniles than they are for adults, and juveniles are held in a juvenile detention center instead of an adult correctional facility. However, there are many cases in which a juvenile may be tried as an adult and subject to adult consequences.
Connecticut Laws Regarding Juvenile Offenses
If your child is at least 14 years old and has been charged with a Class A or Class B felony offense, he or she will be tried as an adult. Crimes such as kidnapping, arson, sexual assault, homicide, and armed robbery typically result in a teenaged offender being transferred to the adult criminal system. However, a teenager who is subject to the adult criminal system also has the same Constitutional rights as an adult criminal defendant. He or she has the right to remain silent, consult with an attorney, decline police questioning, and more.
For other offenses, whether or not a juvenile is tried as an adult is often up to the juvenile prosecutor’s discretion. If your child was accused of selling or manufacturing drugs, assault with a weapon, vehicular homicide, certain weapons violations, or another felony offense, it is possible that he or she may be treated as an adult during criminal proceedings. Some of the factors that prosecutors consider when deciding whether or not to try a youth as an adult include:
The severity of the alleged crime
The defendant’s criminal history
To what degree the defendant intended to commit the crime
The likelihood that the defendant will reoffend
Whether the defendant has been tried as an adult previously
Contact a Fairfield Juvenile Defense Lawyer
If your child was arrested and charged with a crime, you may be overwhelmed and unsure of what to do. Connecticut criminal defense attorney Daniel P. Weiner has extensive experience in juvenile criminal defense matters. He can help you understand your legal options, build a strong defense against the accusations, and ensure that your child’s rights are protected throughout the process. Call our office today at 203-348-5846 to schedule a free, confidential consultation to learn more.