Criminal Procedures

Juvenile Defendants

LegalSpeak: Juvenile Transfer Law in Virginia

Va. Code Ann.

In determining whether a juvenile is a proper person to remain within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, the court shall consider, but not be limited to, the following factors:

  1. The juvenile’s age;

  2. The seriousness and number of alleged offenses, including (i) whether the alleged offense was committed in an aggressive, violent, premeditated, or willful manner; (ii) whether the alleged offense was against persons or property, with greater weight being given to offenses against persons, especially if death or bodily injury resulted; (iii) whether the maximum punishment for such an offense is greater than twenty years confinement if committed by an adult; (iv) whether the alleged offense involved the use of a firearm or other dangerous weapon by brandishing, threatening, displaying or otherwise employing such weapon; and (v) the nature of the juvenile’s participation in the alleged offense;

  3. Whether the juvenile can be retained in the juvenile justice system long enough for effective treatment and rehabilitation;

  4. The appropriateness and availability of the services and dispositional alternatives in both the criminal justice and juvenile justice systems for dealing with the juvenile’s problems;

  5. The record and previous history of the juvenile in this or other jurisdictions, including (i) the number and nature of previous contacts with juvenile or circuit courts, (ii) the number and nature of prior periods of probation, (iii) the number and nature of prior commitments to juvenile correctional centers, (iv) the number and nature of previous residential and community-based treatments, (v) whether previous adjudications and commitments were for delinquent acts that involved the infliction of serious bodily injury, and (vi) whether the alleged offense is part of a repetitive pattern of similar adjudicated offenses;

  6. Whether the juvenile has previously absconded from the legal custody of a juvenile correctional entity in this or any other jurisdiction;

  7. The extent, if any, of the juvenile’s degree of mental retardation or mental illness;

  8. The juvenile’s school record and education;

  9. The juvenile’s mental and emotional maturity; and

  10. The juvenile’s physical condition and physical maturity.


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