When a juvenile is arrested, he or she is automatically placed in the juvenile court system, and the case is scheduled before a judge. However, depending upon the child’s age, the severity of the crime, and the arrest history, the state may be authorized to treat that child as an adult.
There are two procedures by which your child could be treated as an adult. Again, depending upon the severity of the crime, the age of your child and the arrest history of your child, the state attorney’s office may file directly with the adult division of the court and your child will be transferred to that division.
Or the state attorney’s office can petition the judge to transfer the case to the adult division based on other factors which may make it less desirable for your child to remain within the juvenile court system. Regardless of which method is used by the government to move your child’s case away from juvenile court, once your child is being treated as an adult, he or she will be treated as an adult for all purposes. Your child, if in custody, will be removed from the juvenile detention center and will be transferred to an appropriate section of the local county jail. Your child will be scheduled to go to court, in front of a judge presiding over the adult criminal felony division of the court, and the case will be treated in all respects as though your child were an adult, including placement in state prison if convicted. For more information on juvenile law, contact a qualified juvenile defense lawyer.