Can a Minor Be Charged with a Felony?

Like many states, Indiana focuses on rehabilitation and counseling when concerning youthful offenders. In cases with delinquent behavior, courts tend to be somewhat lenient on children in juvenile courts. However, the age of the child has little to do with whether or not he or she can be considered delinquent. There is no statute specifying the youngest age at which a child can be convicted.

The juvenile court has jurisdiction over crimes alleged to have been committed before a child’s 18th birthday. After that age, the person is charged in adult court. However, the juvenile court can retain jurisdiction over kids until they reach the age of 21 if the children committed the crimes before they turned 18 years of age.

In rare cases, some juveniles will be tried as adults. The state has 4 ways to prosecute a youth as an adult. The 1st way is a statutory exclusion, which prevents juvenile courts from having jurisdiction over certain serious felonies when committed by a child 16 or older. Children can be ruled guilty of a felony offense, and they could be tried and punished as an adult if they are convicted.

Likewise, if the child serves a sentence for a felony and is later convicted of another felony, he or she will automatically be tried as an adult under the “Once an Adult, Always an Adult” rule. This rule also applies if the offense committed by a child would be considered a felony if an adult had committed the same crime.

If your child is accused of a crime, make sure you talk to one of our experienced Fort Wayne juvenile crimes attorneys. Arnold Terrill, P.C. is a firm dedicated to defending the rights and freedoms of our clients and providing excellent, aggressive advocacy in negotiations and in court. Let us see what we can do for you and your family.

Contact us at (888) 912-7220 or fill out our online form to schedule a free phone consultation today.