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When children face adult charges

Everyone makes mistakes as a child, but when those mistakes bring harm to others, they may come with significant penalties. If your child faces an offense as a juvenile, you may assume the case will go to a juvenile court. However, that is not always to be.

There are certain instances where a minor may face adult charges. It is important to understand what constitutes such determinations and what it may entail.

The difference

In most cases, juvenile courts try minors between the ages of 10 and 16. Those convicted go to a detention center purposed for servicing minors. These centers commonly provide rehabilitation, mental health services, and education. On the other hand, those who receive adult convictions go to adult facilities that do not often provide education services. This may impede upon the children's opportunities to matriculate and become a productive citizen upon release, if they ever get out.

Adult trial

Wisconsin legislation 938.183 details the instances in which juveniles may face adult charges. In short, in the case of homicide or attempted homicide, minors may receive adult charges. In other instances, depending on the severity of the case, the prosecution may request the child face adult charges instead of juvenile charges. 

Possible change

A few lawmakers are working to change the law so that individuals must be at least 18 years old before facing adult charges. There are some states with successful records from implementing such legislation. However, Wisconsin still stands by the old standards. Still, certain lawmakers continue to fight the good fight to provide a better process for minors facing serious charges.

This is a brief overview of the extensive process of juveniles facing adult sentences. If you have a loved one who may be in this situation, it is essential you seek assistance from a knowledgeable attorney. Take your time to select the best attorney who will work with and for you, so that you may have the best chance for a positive outcome.

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