Will My Child Be Tried in Juvenile Court?

Experienced Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer in Boston

The fact that a child is under 18 years old does not necessarily eliminate the possibility that they could be tried in court as an adult. In fact, whether they are tried as an adult or in juvenile court depends largely on the severity of the crime they are alleged to have committed.

Massachusets Laws

In the state of Massachusetts, there is a “Youthful Offender statute,” which delineates a new class of juvenile criminals and a separate approach to determining guilt, punishment, etc., which involves adult sentencing or a combination of juvenile and adult sentencing, if determined to be necessary. According to Massachusetts Health & Human Services, so-called “Youthful Offenders” are minors between the ages of 14 and 17 years of age who have already been charged with one felony, in addition to any of the following:

  • Commitment to a Department of Youth Services program
  • Crimes involving a firearm
  • Crimes involving major bodily harm to another person

Trying a Minor's Case as an Adult

A minor’s case can be tried as an adult if a judge issues a waiver, which removes the safeguards of juvenile court. This is only done when a minor has committed a serious crime or has developed a significant criminal history, in which case a judge may issue more intense penalties to prevent further criminal activity. If your child has been waivered into adult court, you can challenge it through a transfer hearing. However, there are some offenses that may automatically relegate juveniles to adult criminal court in a process known as “automatic transfer.” A minor may be automatically transferred to adult criminal court if they are older than 16 years of age and have allegedly committed a serious offense such as murder, assault, or rape.

Adult criminal court is no laughing matter. If your child’s juvenile court protections have been waived by a judge or your child has been automatically transferred and is facing trial as an adult, you will have to have a strong case and an aggressive, knowledgeable juvenile defense attorney on your side. Don’t wait another minute before taking the necessary steps to ensure the best possible outcome for your child. Get in touch with the Boston juvenile defense lawyers at Brad Bailey Law immediately.

Call Brad Bailey Law at (617) 500-0252 or schedule your confidential case evaluation today.

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