How a juvenile crime is treated depends on various factors. Normally, a
judge will ultimately decide whether or not a juvenile will be tried as
an adult for the crimes they have been accused of committing. This decision
is known as a “judicial waiver.” If the prosecution wants
to see the juvenile tried as an adult, they will ask the court judge to
hold a hearing to have their exclusive jurisdiction waived.
While some states allow the judge to determine when a judicial waiver can
be applied to a
juvenile case, other states make use of mandatory judicial waivers for particularly
egregious crimes. The following factors are often used to figure out if
a judicial waiver should be used for a juvenile’s case:
- The nature and circumstances of the crime
- If the offense was committed in an aggressive, violent, or premeditated manner
- The merit of the charges against the juvenile
- Past history of the minor, particularly their maturity and mental competence
- Whether the public needs to be protected from the accused juvenile
- If the juvenile can likely be treated or rehabilitated
Aside from judges, prosecutors can also decide on a juvenile’s sentencing
status in some states. In these states, prosecutors have the authority
to decide where to file charges against a minor. Furthermore, their decision
is not subject to review. State legislators also have the authority in
some circumstances to decide the outcome of how a juvenile will be tried.
Under statutory exclusions, lawmakers can grant criminal courts control
over cases that involve minors who are accused of repeat offenses and
violent crimes. Unfortunately, statutory exclusions take sentencing authority
away from the courts and prosecutors.
Do you have more questions about juvenile crimes? Contact our College Station juvenile crimes attorneys
to get started on your case today.