What Should I Do if My Child Is Being Tried as an Adult?
When Can a Juvenile Be Tried as an Adult?
Children under 14 are not tried as adults in Minnesota. However, if your child is over the age of 14, there’s a possibility they may be tried as an adult. The type of offense and your child’s past conduct could land your child in adult court, being treated as an adult defendant.
If you’re facing this scenario with your child, there are some necessary steps you must take, including reaching out to a skilled attorney.
Early Intervention of an Attorney Is a Must
When a juvenile commits a felony-level offense, it’s vital to contact an attorney. Whether the matter is handled in juvenile court or the adult court system, experienced representation is a must.
The process of certifying a juvenile to adult court requires a demonstration of clear and convincing evidence. Your attorney can help ensure that your child is not put through a process that does not fit the circumstances.
If the certification process proceeds and you end up in adult court, having an attorney already familiar with the situation is best. Someone who can handle juvenile or adult court criminal defense can make the process seamless and help you in the long run.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Adult Court
There are elements of adult court that can be beneficial in defending a juvenile. There are also potential drawbacks you need to keep in mind. Among the advantages are the right to a jury trial, and the potential benefit of being underage in that situation. Juries may be more likely to give your child a fair, or even lenient hearing based on age. The juvenile courts only deal with underage people, so there’s nothing unusual about the proceeding to inspire sympathy.
Perhaps the largest disadvantage is that the penalties available in adult court are generally more severe. The sentences tend to be longer. The criminal record in adult court is both harder to expunge and carries a harsher stigma that can harm your child’s prospects.
Speak to a Skilled Defense Attorney as Soon as Possible
The attorneys at White & Associates are skilled in the criminal defense of juveniles and adults. We know what’s at stake and understand just how a criminal charge can affect your child now and in the future.
We will be there for you from start to finish to protect your child’s rights and ensure they receive a strong defense. Call us at 763-241-0477 or send us a message to schedule a consultation.