How are juveniles classified?

In Connecticut, juveniles are considered to be all those under the age of 18. If you are over the age of 18, you can be charged as an adult instead. If a juvenile has committed a violent crime, they may be waived up to be tried as an adult depending on the seriousness of their crime. When a child is defined as a “juvenile delinquent,” it means that they need supervision, treatment or confinement. This could mean that they are more dangerous than other individuals who are classified as a juvenile or it may be attributed to the mental state of the child.

Juveniles should have legal representation when they are facing these charges. Throughout the process, an attorney must be present to represent their best interests to limit their consequences and fight on their behalf. If guardians of the child cannot afford an attorney, they can present their situation to the court. The court may then provide representation for the child.

Why can juveniles be charged as adults?

Juveniles can be tried as adults in court if their act is deemed especially violent or cruel. This can happen in certain circumstances but not for all cases involving a juvenile. If a child is 14 years old and has committed a crime that is classified as a Class A or B felony, they can be charged as an adult. They may be waived up to the criminal court and tried as an adult would be by facing penalties in the same way. The prosecutor’s office and the juvenile judge have the authority to demand that a child is tried as an adult in court. However, the crime must be pretty serious for these consequences to occur. Some crimes that may constitute such an act can include murder, assault, serious drug offenses, rape or armed robbery.

If a child is transferred through a discretionary transfer where they are charged with a Class C or D felony or an unclassified felony, they can be subject to an adult trial if the court deems it necessary. The judge in adult court has the ability to reverse the adult transfer for those that are waived up to adult court because of certain Class A sexual assault charges, Class B felonies and discretionary transfers.

Marc N. Needelman is an experienced attorney working throughout the state of Connecticut. Contact the law firm to set up a free initial consultation for matters, related to real estate, personal injury, criminal defense, estate planning, and more.

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