Wisconsin is one of only nine states where 17 year old minors, are treated as adults in the criminal justice system. Every parent knows, and science and sociological studies back them up, that teens lack the maturity and have an underdeveloped sense of responsibility which can result in poor decision making – some very consequential. Despite the fact that kids under eighteen cannot vote, marry, legally own a gun, or serve on a jury because most everyone recognizes their relative immaturity and irresponsibility, efforts to return most 17 year olds to juvenile court jurisdiction have failed in Wisconsin.
Even kids who are younger than age 17 run the risk of being charged as an adult in the state depending on the crime. Situations involving minors 14 years and older alleged to have committed certain violent crimes, manufactured or distributed drugs, or participated in gang activity may be charged as adults. If there is a prior record or a juvenile commits assault or battery while in a juvenile correction facility, they may automatically be subject to adult court supervision.
Although juveniles under the age of 15 who are tried as adults may be held in a juvenile detention facility, juveniles between the ages of 15 and 17 may face the same consequences of adults. Regardless of where they start, when a juvenile offender reaches the age of 17, they will transfer to an adult prison.
If your child is facing charges, it can be frightening for teens and parents alike, even more so if juvenile or criminal charges result in a waiver to adult court and more severe consequences. If your family member has been charged with a crime, it is important to seek the help of an experienced juvenile criminal defense attorney who can help you understand and protect your child’s rights and best strategies for defense. Contact the Waukesha criminal defense lawyers of Andrew C. Ladd LLC for immediate assistance 262-542-3900.