Can a Young Offender Be Tried As An Adult

An Insight into 4 Important Aspects

of Adult Sentencing Young Offenders Should be Aware of

Young kids facing criminal accusations can be a traumatic experience for parents and family members. In such situation parents should take help of an experienced criminal lawyer to understand likelihood of getting a favorable sentence in the case and take right steps to strengthen young offenders position in the case. In this context we will look at adult sentencing and various aspects of such sentencing parents need to be aware of.

Aspects of Adult Sentencing Young Offenders Should be Aware of

Imposition of Adult Sentence / Age for Imposition of Adult Sentence / Criterion for Imposition of Adult Sentence

As per Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA), first of all it is to be determined by youth court whether accused is guilty or not and then adult sentence can be imposed under certain circumstances.

Any offense which results in adult sentence falls in the category of indictable offense. Some of the other aspects which should be present are:

  • It should have been committed when young offender was aged fourteen years of more.
  • It needs to be an offense where an adult would get a verdict of 2 or more years of imprisonment.

young offendersSome of the other provisions of adult sentencing which young offenders and their parents need to be aware of include:

  • Imposition of Adult Sentence: Let us look at a situation where young offender is facing charges of a violent offense and is aged fourteen years or more. In such situation if prosecutor judges that adult sentencing will be appropriate for the young offender then then it will be necessary for the prosecutor to apply to court for imposition of such sentence. In case prosecutor does not want to apply for imposing adult sentence then prosecutor will have to inform the court about the same.
  • Age for Imposition of Adult Sentence: All provinces are allowed to change as well as decide about age for imposing the adult sentence. This age can fall in the range from 14 to 16 years.
  • Criterion for Imposing Adult Sentence: Court will be able to impose any type of adult sentence only when:
    • Length of Sentence: The length of youth sentence will not be enough for holding young offender accountable for the offense.
    • Diminished Moral Culpability or Blameworthiness: Prosecutor disproves presumption of diminished moral culpability or blameworthiness of young offenders.
  • Correctional Facility: In case young offenders get adult sentence and such offenders are below the age of eighteen then they are to be kept in a youth correctional facility and not in any adult facility. After young offenders are eighteen years old, they may be transferred to any adult correctional facility.

A Final Note

Thus, we will end here with a final note that there are complex rules with regards to adult sentencing for young offenders. To fully understand these rules as well as utilize them you need to consult an experienced criminal lawyer so as to get best possible advice and take right decisions which will help in strengthening your position in the case.