Criminal Procedures

Juvenile Defendants

If you’re convicted of a crime as a juvenile can you be tried as an adult?

It depends on your specific age and the nature of the crime. For most crimes, juveniles are not transferred to adult criminal court. However, if a juvenile is at least 14 years old and commits a violent felony—such as murder or armed robbery—then the states have mechanisms in place to provide for the transfer of such juvenile defendants to adult court. Often, if the juvenile meets these conditions (be at least 14 and believed to have committed a violent felony), a juvenile court judge will hold a transfer hearing to determine whether or not to send the juvenile defendant to adult criminal court or to keep them in the juvenile court system.


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