What Are Some Reasons That a Child May Be Tried As an Adult in Criminal Court?


Quick Answer

Factors considered when deciding the transfer of a juvenile case to an adult court vary by state, but common factors that influence this discussion include the nature of the alleged crime, the suspect's age and the suspect's prior juvenile record, notes Nolo. The juvenile's response to past rehabilitation efforts is also considered. Examples of serious crimes that may prompt the case transfer include murder, serious arson, rape, kidnapping, gun crimes and drug crimes.

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Full Answer

There are three main categories of a transfer process: a judicial waiver, a concurrent jurisdiction and a statutory exclusion. A judicial waiver leaves the responsibility of determining whether to transfer a case solely on the juvenile court judge. The process, which is also called certification, remand or bind over, is the most common transfer provision, notes the National Criminal Justice Reference Service.

A concurrent jurisdiction is also known as a prosecutorial waiver, prosecutor discretion or direct file. It refers to the provision by some states to allow shared jurisdiction by both the juvenile and criminal courts. The prosecutor, therefore, is the one who decides where to file the case in such a state. A combination of the juvenile's age, offense and prior record determines whether or not the case falls under concurrent jurisdiction, explains PBS.

Some states have laws that automatically transfer juvenile cases that involve serious and violent crimes to criminal courts. This transfer process is known as statutory exclusion or legislative exclusion, notes the NCJRS.

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