Family court is vastly different than adult criminal court. The age threshold where a young person goes from being tried as a child to being tried as an adult varies by crime and circumstance. On top of that, young lawbreakers are often subject to different manners of trial: they can be tried either in family court, in criminal court as a youthful offender, or more rarely, in a special branch of the Supreme Court.
Those under the age of 16 that’ve committed felonies such as a first-degree assault or other serious offenses may be tried in a special branch of the Supreme Court. Whereas, if the child has committed a lesser crime, crimes along the line of petty larceny, etc., they’ll be brought to Family Court. Because Family Court deals with a high-volume of young offenders whose crimes are deemed “less serious” by the state, there is often a glut of cases, which can slow down the judicial process for the young person in question. Retaining counsel for aid in Family Court, then, becomes a tremendous asset, when trying to avoid long spells in juvenile delinquent centers and other holding facilities of this type. The final scenario, for youths age 16-18, is a trial in adult criminal court wherein they’d assume “youthful offender” status. Verdicts handed down to teens tried as youthful offenders are liable for expunging. They would not go on a youth’s permanent record.
Here’s an example of young offenders being tried as adults:
In November of 2009, five Florida teenagers set one of their peers on fire over a video game debt. The victim, 15-year-old Michael Brewer, survived the incident, though he suffered grievous burns that covered over 60% of his body. 3 of the 5 assailants were tried as adults for attempted second-degree murder, a felony. The two “leaders,” Matthew Bent and Jesus Mendez, who were found guilty of instigating the attack (though were handed a lesser charge than the original attempted second-degree murder) both received 11-year prison sentences in Florida State Penitentiary. This is one example of a crime so horrifying the courts had no choice but to try the accused as adults.
List of Juvenile Offenses
At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we’ve handled a wide spectrum of juvenile cases. Here, we understand that growing up can be trying at times and we believe wholeheartedly in the redemptive possibility in all children. That’s why we take special interest in juvenile cases; we always consider rehabilitation preferential over incarceration. The judicial system, in its endless quest to expedite its process, has a heavy bias towards quick verdicts that sometimes lead to too-hasty jail sentences. We at Kaplan Lawyers believe that all kids deserve a second chance, which is why we’ll fight determinedly on your behalf. We want to make sure every juvenile receives a fair and careful trial.
Here are some of the offenses we specialize in:
- Reckless endangerment
- Indecent Exposure
- Graffiti and other property-damage crimes
- School suspensions
- Underage alcohol use
- Underage drug possession / sale
- Illegal purchase of tobacco
- Underage drunk driving
Contact Our New York Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyers
Our consultations are a free and easy way to learn about your rights. If you or your child has been involved in a crime, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.