Your child has been charged with a felony. We know this is a scary, uncertain time. There are many emotions flying around, and it may be unclear what you should do. Even as a juvenile, this event will affect the rest of their life. If your child was recently charged with a felony, there are some important things you should know before going forward.
First, what is a Juvenile?
A juvenile is a non-married child under the age of eighteen; however, juvenile courts will still have jurisdiction over any acts committed while the child was under eighteen years old, as long as they are no older than 20.
Will they be tried as a child or an adult?
No child under the age of 14 is allowed to be tried as an adult. If the child is over the age of sixteen, they may be required to or request to be transferred into adult court.
A juvenile may be required to be tried as an adult if the crime is one of the following:
- Attempted murder
- Gross sexual imposition
- Attempted gross sexual imposition by force
- Threat of imminent death
- Serious bodily injury
My child is over 18, what are our options?
Parenting isn’t over once a child turns 18. If you have a young adult child who is in legal trouble, it is important to encourage them to seek legal counsel right away. As a mother or father, you don’t want to see your child in trouble. If you could, you would want to help them avoid a permanent conviction on their record, wouldn’t you?
So if you are helping them emotionally or financially, it is important to give them guidance to seek legal counsel, which can help them achieve the best outcome in a difficult situation.
Will they go to trial?
Juveniles are not given the right to a jury trial in juvenile court, however, they have the right to an attorney. A parent is allowed to waive the right to have a lawyer present for their child even when being questioned by a member of law enforcement.