When a kid is accused of committing a crime, they may be prosecuted as a minor or as an adult. It all depends on different issues such as the age of the child, their criminal history, and the nature of the crime they have committed. As a parent, however, it's in your best interest to ensure your child isn't tried as an adult because then they would face:
Potentially Harsher Penalties
If your teenager is being tried in an adult prison, then they are looking at harsher penalties than they would face if convicted in a juvenile court. There are two main reasons for this. First, if your kid is being tried in an adult court, then they are considered legally adult and must face the same penalties an adult convicted of the same crime would face. Secondly, juvenile courts have a broader range of penalties, many of them a bit lenient (as compared to adult courts) that adult courts don't have. A child who would have been sentenced to community service by a juvenile court would be sentenced to a stint in jail by an adult court simply because the adult court has no option for community service for the crime.
An Incarceration in an Adult Jail or Prison
Secondly, your child should not be tried in an adult court because, should they be convicted, they would be incarcerated in an adult prison. In fact, once it has been established that the child is facing trial in an adult court, they will be sent to an adult jail. Do you really want to risk having your child with a group of (hardened) adult criminals?
A Difficulty in Sealing or Expunging their Criminal Records
You should do your best to avoid having your teen tried as an adult because that would make their criminal record difficult to expunge or seal. Expunging or sealing criminal records make them unavailable to the public, and this reduces the effect of the crime on the rest of the offender's life. Age is one of the factors that determine whether a criminal record can be sealed or expunged. Therefore, if your child is being treated as an adult by getting tried as an adult, it will not be easy to expunge or seal their criminal record.
A Reduced Chance of Rehabilitation
Lastly, you should know that the main aim of the juvenile justice system is to correct or rehabilitate offenders, but this isn't necessarily true with the adult judicial system. Therefore, if you want your child to learn from their errors and grow up as a law-abiding system, fight to have them tried in a juvenile court.
For more information, contact companies like Fessenden Laumer & DeAngelo, PLLC.Share
24 January 2018
Just as there are laws to protect us on the roads, there are laws to protect our families. Whether you are fighting for the right to see your children, or are in the beginning stages of a divorce, a lawyer can help. There are many laws and stipulations that can have a serious impact on the outcome of any family legal situation. Having a lawyer working at your side to get through a difficult time is the only way to ensure that your rights are fully protected. On this site, you will learn about some of the family laws that could be impacting your life today.