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When Can a Minor Be Tried as an Adult in Wisconsin?

Posted on in Criminal Law

Waukesha Juvenile Criminal Defense LawyerEvery parent hopes for the best for their child. Even when a child struggles with a bad friend group, poor academic performance, impulse control, or other difficulties that contribute towards criminal behavior, it can still be a shock to learn that child is being accused of committing a serious crime. 

Wisconsin has a separate juvenile justice system to handle cases of juvenile delinquency, but some crimes can be serious enough to merit treatment in the adult criminal justice system. If your child is facing criminal charges, contact an experienced Wisconsin criminal defense attorney, especially if you are concerned that your child may be tried as an adult. 

Which Crimes Can Cause Juveniles to Be Tried as Adults? 

Once a child is 17 years old, he or she is considered an adult for the purposes of criminal prosecution. But some of the most serious crimes can allow much younger children to be prosecuted as adults as well, and in some cases, the law even requires it. 

First-degree intentional or attempted homicide cases must start in adult court if the alleged perpetrator is 10 years old or older. A defense attorney can request that a juvenile under age 16 accused of first degree homicide be moved to juvenile court, but only if the court finds the defense has shown good reason to do so. 

Juveniles can also be tried as an adult for a wide range of crimes at the request of the prosecutor or judge. These include: 

  • Murder

  • Reckless homicide

  • Hostage taking or kidnapping

  • Armed robbery or burglary 

  • First and second degree sexual assault 

  • Gang activity

  • Distributing or manufacturing a controlled substance 

A child who has been previously adjudicated delinquent who assaults other prisoners or correctional facility employees can also be tried as an adult. 

What is the Difference Between the Adult and Juvenile Criminal Justice System? 

Children who are convicted as juveniles have more options than adults when it comes to diversion programs and, when faced with juvenile detention, enjoy less harsh facilities. Juveniles also have the option of expunging their juvenile criminal record under certain circumstances and are punished less severely for crimes. 

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Milwaukee County Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer

Watching your child face the criminal justice system can be one of the most stressful experiences a parent ever has. If your child has been accused of a serious crime, do not take chances with their future. Secure help from an experienced, aggressive Waukesha County juvenile criminal defense attorney who will fight for your child’s future. Call Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP today at 262-232-6699 to schedule a consultation. We are available 24/7 and can meet with you or your child in juvenile detention if necessary.

Source: 

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/938/iii/183

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