Many people think that juveniles charged as adults only occurs when the juvenile is over 18. There are many laws that work together to dictate when a juvenile can be tried as an adult, and under what circumstances this occurs. There are a few common ways that a juvenile will be tried as an adult:
Judicial Waiver: Judges given the power to have a juvenile’s case transferred into adult criminal court
Direct File: A Prosecutorial discretion, which gives prosecutors the right to decide if a juvenile should be tried as an adult or not
Statutory Exclusion: States that abide by the automatic transfer to adult court if the juvenile is a certain age or if they have a serious prior record
Reverse Waiver: The few cases where it is assumed that a juvenile will be tried as an adult right off the bat based on the severity of the crime, such as murder or rape
Once an Adult Rule: Once an adult, always an adult: When a child has been previously tried as an adult in the past
California’s Specific State Laws
Many states have different rules when it comes to the transfer of a juvenile’s crime from juvenile court to adult court. For instance, in Illinois, a juvenile is anybody who is under 17, so anyone over that age could be tried depending on the circumstances. Some other states see it differently.
In California, a juvenile is considered to be anyone under 18. If you are over 14 and have committed an extremely serious crime, in California you could be tried as an adult. These include crimes like murder, rape, and robberies with a weapon. California follows the “once an adult, always an adult” rule, which means that if you were charged as an adult previously, the courts will probably use that method again.
At the Law Office of Peter Blair, we want to help when you have been charged with a crime as a juvenile. We want to speak to you to let you know how we can defend your rights in this vital time of your life when it matters the most. Call us today for more information on how we can help.