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Can Juvenile Offenders be Tried as Adults in Wisconsin?


Milwaukee Juvenile Defense Lawyer

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.

If you or your children facing criminal charges in Milwaukee, schedule a case review to discuss your defense options.

Juveniles Facing Criminal Charges

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, sexual assault, armed robbery, aggravated burglary, 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.

Wisconsin Criminal Defense Attorney

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.

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