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Trial as an Adult

In the past decade, it has become more common for children to be referred to adult criminal courts for trial. Juveniles are treated as adults in the court system, without the special protections given to juveniles. If your child has been charged with a crime, contact our firm today to schedule a consultation with an attorney who will respond aggressively to your child's juvenile law matter.

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Trial as an Adult

There often is a possibility that a juvenile will be tried as an adult, in adult criminal court, rather than a hearing in juvenile court. The protections of a juvenile court proceeding do not exist in adult court. Court proceedings and records are not confidential, but are open to the public, and the court may impose the same sentence on the juvenile (jail time, fines and probation) that would be imposed on an adult. The full implications of trial as an adult in IL can be more fully explained by someone knowledgeable in juvenile defense law, like an attorney from Michael T. Norris, Ltd. and John W. Callahan, Ltd..

When May a Juvenile Be Tried as an Adult?

Laws in some states require anyone charged with certain crimes, such as homicide, to be tried as an adult, regardless of age. Many states also provide that a juvenile must be tried as an adult if he or she has been previously found guilty of an offense that would be a felony if committed by an adult.

Prosecutors are often given the discretion to charge a juvenile in either adult or juvenile court. This discretion is limited to certain types of offenses, committed by juveniles over a certain age. The offenses charged are usually violent, serious or repeat offenses. Some other factors that may be included are nature of the crime, extent of prior record, juvenile's intellect and philological development, and past rehabilitative treatment. Similarly, minor traffic offenses may be charged in either juvenile or adult court.

Judges in virtually every state may waive juvenile court jurisdiction and transfer a case to adult court. This is typically done at the request of the prosecutor, although some states allow a juvenile or his or her parents to request such a waiver. A hearing is usually held to determine if the case is an appropriate one for adult court. The main factor the juvenile court will consider is whether the juvenile can be helped by the juvenile court system. If the court concludes that the resources available within the juvenile court system can rehabilitate the juvenile, the case will stay in juvenile court. Contact a lawyer experienced in juvenile law at Michael T. Norris, Ltd. and John W. Callahan, Ltd. in Schaumburg, IL. An experienced attorney will know how and when juvenile cases are referred to adult court.

Consequences of Trial as an Adult

A child tried as an adult will be treated no differently from an adult. Unlike juvenile court, all court proceedings will be open to the public, and the records of the proceedings may be public information. The record of a child's conviction will not be sealed, but will be a public record.

The sentence imposed will also be the same as would be imposed on an adult. Any time of incarceration would be served in an adult correctional facility. The length of time served behind bars would also be the same as for an adult. The time served would not be limited to when the juvenile reaches the age of majority, as in juvenile sentences. The consequences of a child being tried as an adult can be dramatically different from what may happen if a case stayed in juvenile court.

Talk to a Lawyer

The possibility that a child may be tried as an adult adds a new, worrisome, aspect to any juvenile case. Contact a lawyer at Michael T. Norris, Ltd. and John W. Callahan, Ltd. in Schaumburg, IL, who practices extensively in juvenile law, to help you navigate and understand the processes involved.

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DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

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