Can a Juvenile Be Charged as an Adult?
Your kids are everything to you. Even when they disobey you and get into trouble, they are still your kids and you will do anything for them. Though you love them and will give them as many chances as necessary to get things right, the criminal justice system is not as considerate. What happens when your minor child get into trouble with the law? Will the criminal justice system treat them as a child or will the criminal justice system see them as an adult? If your loved one has been charged with a crime that could have them charged as an adult, it is important to contact an experienced Virginia juvenile defense attorney to fight for your child’s rights.
When Can a Juvenile Be Charged as an Adult in Virginia?
In Virginia the age for criminal accountability is 18, and anyone less than 18 years of age is defined as a juvenile. However, depending on the crime that the juvenile has been charged with, those who are 14 years of age and older and are competent to stand trial can be transferred to adult court. When determining whether a juvenile case should be transferred to the adult court, the court will look at whether the alleged offense was committed in an aggressive, violent, premeditated, or willful manner. If a juvenile has been charged with a felony such as capital murder, first degree murder, lynching, or aggravated malicious wounding, then a transfer to adult court is mandatory.
In contrast, though transfers are mandatory, written notice that the case is being transferred must be given before the hearing for offenses such as homicide, abduction, robbery, sexual offenses, malicious wounding, and other serious felonies. Once the juvenile’s case is transferred, the case proceeds to the grand jury and is tried in the same way that an adult case is tried, though sentencing for the juvenile may be different from an adult’s case. It is important to note that if a juvenile is charged as an adult for a crime that would be a felony if committed by an adult, the juvenile will also be tried as an adult for any other related charges that occurred simultaneously with the felonious charge.
Need Legal Advice?
When a juvenile is charged as an adult, serious consequences follow. If your loved one is convicted of their charge he or she may be sentenced to imprisonment in an adult facility. Though lawmakers and enforcers believe that this is a rehabilitative period, often times the recidivism rate for these young adults increases. Juveniles’ needs are different from adults’ and placing juveniles in these adult facilities has huge effects on their mentality and development. Therefore, it is best to contact an experienced juvenile defense attorney at the Law Office of Faraji A. Rosenthall to fight for your child’s rights and to seek the best possible strategies for his or her case. Contact our office today for a free consultation.