Being arrested and charged with a criminal offense is a serious situation,
whether you are an adult or a minor child. Although juvenile offenders
typically go through the juvenile justice system, there are some circumstances
where they may be tried as adults in criminal court.
Wisconsin is one of nine states which always punish juvenile offenders
who are at least 17 years old as adults. Juveniles between the ages of
15 and under 17 may face the same penalties as adult convicts, or their
case may be subject to a serious juvenile offender program.
Juveniles who are at least 14 years of age can be subject to adult court
if the District Attorney petitions the juvenile court to waive its jurisdiction.
This type of waiver applies to 14-year-old juveniles who commit a
felony or reckless homicide,
kidnapping, hostage taking,
distributing or manufacturing illicit drugs, or being involved a gang.
Furthermore, juveniles who at least ten years of age can also be tried
in adult court if they allegedly committed or attempted to commit first-
or second-degree murder or reckless homicide.
If a juvenile allegedly commits assault or battery while under custody
in a juvenile correctional facility or residential center, he/she will
be subject to adult court. This also applies to juveniles who were previously
considered adjudged delinquents.
The main difference between juvenile courts and adult courts is that the
former is designed to rehabilitate the individual to ensure criminal behavior
doesn’t continue in adulthood, while the latter is designed to punish
the person for their crimes. Minors convicted in juvenile court may be
sent to a special detention facility and have access to educational and
mental health resources. Minors who are tried as adults will be subject
to adult penalties and imprisonment in adult facilities.
If your minor child could potentially be tried in adult court in Wisconsin, our
Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer at the
Law Offices of Christopher J. Cherella can protect his/her rights and future. For more information,
contact us and schedule a free consultation today.