A crime that has been committed by a person between the ages of 7 and 18 falls into three categories when brought to court; juvenile delinquent, juvenile offender, or adolescent offender. How the child is treated in the court is dependent on multiple factors as well, including past record, age or intent. As of October 2019, New York raised the age of criminal responsibility to 18 instead of 17 to include those just turned 18 to be allowed to be prosecuted in the juvenile division. At Tilem & Associates, our experience team of New York criminal attorneys can help you navigate the charges being brought against your child.
Juvenile Delinquents are children between 7 and 18 who commit an act that would be considered a crime if they were an adult, however if the child is 13, 14 or 15 they are not included as a juvenile delinquent. If convicted of the charges, the child can be placed in a supervised or treatment facility by the local department of social services. In this instance, the court proceedings are confidential and can be sealed in some situations. Adolescent Offenders apply to 16- or 17-year old’s who have committed a felony. In this instance, the case is originally head in the Youth Part of Supreme of County court, but can be transferred to Family Court, allowing the youth to be treated as a juvenile delinquent.
Juvenile Offenders are children who are 13, 14, or 15 and have been charged with a crime that would be a violent or serious felony offense. These cases are not held in family court like juvenile delinquent cases, instead they are held in the youth part of Supreme or County Court. If convicted, they are given less serious punishments than if an adult had been charged with the same crime. In these cases, the conviction would stay on their permanent record. If handled properly, by an attorney who knows how to navigate the complex court system, the case can be transferred to the Family Court, meaning that the child would be considered a juvenile delinquent and the records would be confidential and have the possibility of being sealed.
Youthful Offenders are for children between 14 and 19 years old and the determination is made at sentencing. They have to have no prior felony convictions on their record and have never been treated as a youthful offender previously. Being considered a youthful offender allows them to have no criminal record, even if they’ve been charged with a felony, which are the most serious of the criminal offenses. No criminal record also means that it does not have to be reported on college or work applications and does not disqualify the offender from holding public office jobs. However, this does not mean that they won’t be sentenced to jail time, as the maximum sentence can be for up to four years. Contact our experienced team of New York criminal attorneys now to make sure that your child’s case in handled with the utmost professionalism and care to make sure that the best possible outcome is achieved.