When Can a Juvenile Offender Be Tried as an Adult?
Typically, the juvenile court is much more lenient in punishments than adult court. According to the law, kids are far more likely to respond well to rehabilitation and counseling, so a child might be assigned a less severe sentence than the average adult. However, in some cases, children do get charged as adults and serve adult sentences.
Ohio law states a child can only be tried as an adult if he or she was 14 years of age or older at the time of the offense. More likely than not, these cases always begin as felonies. Before the juvenile court can send a child to adult court, it must conduct hearings and make some determinations before the juvenile can be transferred. This process is referred to as transfer, waiver, relinquishment or bindover proceedings.
Likewise, in some cases, the court has the discretion to try a child as an adult. Not all felonies require adult sentences. However, some crimes must be tried in adult court. For example, if a juvenile commits aggravated murder or murder at the age of 16 or 17, he or she automatically goes to adult court to be tried.
Sentencing a child as an adult isn’t taken lightly. In all of these cases, the court investigates the incident, which includes a mental examination. Additionally, the court must determine whether or not the child is likely to be rehabilitated within the juvenile system and if the child is a danger to the community.
If your child is facing serious charges, make sure to talk to one of our skilled Akron juvenile crime attorneys as soon as possible. Even a conviction for a minor crime could make it harder for your child to find employment or housing in the future. Give him or her the best chance of avoiding a conviction. Our attorneys are dedicated to defending our clients with tenacity and compassion. Let us see what we can do for you and your family.