Children make mistakes and sometimes hang out with the wrong crowd. Raising children is no mean feat, so it may come as a shock to find out your child allegedly committed a crime. The stakes grow even higher if it is determined that your child should be tried as an adult.
When will a case be held in juvenile court?
In Ohio there is no minimum age that the minor must be to be adjudicated delinquent in juvenile court. If the crime was allegedly committed before the minor turns age 18 and does not fall under one of the categories of crimes that would move the case to adult court, the case will be heard in juvenile court.
A minor’s case can be heard in juvenile court even up to age 21 if the purported offense took place before the minor reached age 18 and the minor was apprehended before age 21. However, if the minor allegedly committed a felony before age 18 but was not apprehended until after age 21, the case cannot be heard in juvenile court.
When will a case be held in adult court?
There are several circumstances in which a minor will be tried as an adult. First, a minor age 14 and up who is accused of committing a felony crime can be tried in adult court through a discretionary waiver. In addition, minors can be eligible for mandatory transfer to adult court following a probable cause hearing.
If a minor is charged with aggravated murder, murder, attempted aggravated murder or attempted murder and the minor is age 16 or above, or the minor is age 14 or 15 and has previously been adjudicated for committing one of these types of crimes, then the minor may be tried as an adult.
In addition, if a minor is age 16 or above and is charged with committing a category two offense and the minor was previously adjudicated for committing a category one or category two offense and/or a firearm was allegedly involved in the crime, then the minor may be tried as an adult.
There is no going back once it is decided to try a minor as an adult
Once a minor has been waived into adult court not only will the current case be tried in adult court, but any further crimes the minor allegedly commits will automatically be tried in adult court under certain circumstances. Therefore, it is important that minors understand their rights and criminal defense options so they can make decisions that are in their best interests.