When Can a Juvenile Criminal Case Be Transferred to Adult Court?
The first juvenile court in the United States was created more than 100 years ago with the idea that minors had the ability to reform their behavior as they matured. However, even with a complete juvenile justice system in place, minors are still being tried and sentenced as adults at an alarming rate. It has been proven that juveniles do not have the same capacity to make good decisions or control their impulses as adults. They are also more susceptible to peer pressure. All of these areas in which minors lack maturity have been proven to contribute to the likelihood of a juvenile committing a crime. In the state of Illinois, any person who is under the age of 18 is considered a minor, though many juveniles can and are still transferred to the adult court system. When a transfer is requested, there are a number of factors that the judge will consider, including:
The Age of the Minor
One of the first factors a judge will look at when deciding if a juvenile should be tried as an adult is the age of the minor. In Illinois, any minor who is under the age of 16 is referred to juvenile court first. Age is a big factor in determining whether or not a juvenile is transferred to adult court, because it can also be a good indicator of whether or not the child will benefit from juvenile court.
The Minor’s History
Next, the judge will consider the minor’s history and background. There are a number of things that could influence a juvenile’s decision to commit a crime. The judge will examine the child’s previous criminal history, any past delinquent behavior, the child’s history with abuse or neglect, and the child’s physical and mental health history.
The Nature of the Offense
The judge will also look at the specific situation in which the alleged crime occurred. Specifically, they will look for evidence that suggests that the crime was done in a premeditated or aggressive manner, whether the minor possessed a deadly weapon during the offense, and whether or not anyone was harmed because of the crime.
The Advantages of Staying in the Juvenile Justice System
In the end, the judge wants to know that keeping a minor within the juvenile court system is the best decision. The judge will be looking to see if there are facilities and/or programs available in the system that will benefit the minor in the long run. Rather than punishing a minor for their crimes, the goal of the juvenile justice system is to provide rehabilitation and encourage children to avoid criminal activity as they move on to their adult lives.
Contact a DuPage County Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
We were all teens at one point or another, and everyone understands the value of a second chance. In some cases, the mistakes of youth could follow an offender for the rest of their lives. If your child has been charged with a crime, you should contact a knowledgeable Wheaton, IL juvenile crime defense attorney right away. At the Davi Law Group, LLC, we can help your child with any criminal charges that he or she may be facing. Call our office today at 630-580-6373 to schedule a free consultation.