Crimes are committed by people of all ages. Like anyone else, children can commit crimes and can be arrested for them. In the state of Connecticut, a juvenile is defined as an individual under the age of 18 when it comes to non-violent crimes. It is important to know that it does not matter how old the person is when they appear in court, only how old they are when they committed the crime.
As of January 1, 2017, a child may not be placed in a detention center unless a Superior Court judge determines several facts. There needs to be probable cause to believe the child committed the alleged acts and there is no less restrictive alternative available. In addition to this, there needs to be probable cause to believe the child will pose a risk to public safety if they are released to the community.
When a juvenile case begins, the Juvenile Probation Unit Supervisor at the Juvenile Matters Court where the individual will appear decides if the case should be handled as judicial processing or non-judicial processing:
- Non-Judicial Cases: This typically includes matters involving minor offenses and are dealt with by a juvenile probation officer instead of a judge. The probation officer may either dismiss the case, place the juvenile under non-judicial supervision, or recommend judicial handling.
- Judicial Cases: This includes situations that cover more serious offenses, cases involving juveniles who have a prior delinquent conviction or history with the court, a case where a juvenile denies the charges, and cases where the probation officer believes judicial intervention is necessary.
In the event of a judicial case, the juvenile prosecutor must file a petition with the court addressing the charges and identifying the offender as well as their parents or guardian. A plea hearing will be scheduled and is typically followed by a pretrial conference between the prosecutor and the juvenile’s counsel.
Juveniles Tried as Adults
There are some cases in which a child may be transferred to adult court in Connecticut. If a child is as young as 14 years old and charged with a Class A or B felony, they will be transferred to adult court to face the same charges as an adult would for that crime. Another way this may happen is if a child is transferred through a discretionary transfer in which they were charged with a Class C, Class D, or unclassified felony. This could subject the juvenile to an adult trial if the court believes it is necessary.
Contact our Firm
If you or someone you know is involved in a juvenile case and wishes to speak with an experienced attorney, contact The Law Offices of Marc N. Needelman today.
Marc N. Needelman is an experienced attorney working throughout the state of Connecticut. Contact the law firm to set up a free initial consultation for matters, related to real estate, personal injury, criminal defense, estate planning, and more.