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Could Milwaukee County Charge My Child as an Adult?

 Posted on January 21, 2022 in Criminal Defense

WI defense lawyerTreating minors as adults in criminal court is often a controversial subject. Some feel that older teenagers who commit adult crimes should be tried as adults. Others feel that juveniles lack the maturity to comprehend the consequences of their lawbreaking and belong in a judicial program designed to address their needs. No matter where you stand on the topic, if your minor child has been arrested in Wisconsin, there is a very real risk that they could be charged - and sentenced - as an adult.

While juvenile offenders who stay in juvenile court enjoy a number of benefits even if they are convicted, those whose cases are sent to adult court risk facing much harsher penalties for the same crime. If your child is in legal trouble, you will need to take steps immediately to protect their future possibilities. Securing strong legal representation is a critical measure.

What if My 17-Year-Old Gets Arrested?

Wisconsin has a harsh and unyielding rule about offenders who are 17 years old - they are charged as adults. Your 17-year-old is probably still in high school. It may seem absurd to you that their case is being handled as if they were a full-grown adult, but this is the rule in Wisconsin and nine other states.

Could My 15 or 16-Year-Old Stay in Juvenile Court?

Teenagers who are 15 or 16 years old may be able to keep their cases in juvenile court, depending on the circumstances. More serious crimes, like homicide, are substantially more likely to lead to adult charges, whereas lesser, more stereotypically “teenage” crimes like shoplifting may have a better chance of getting resolved through the juvenile justice system.

If My Child is 14, Can He Be Sent to Adult Court?

The district attorney can petition the juvenile court and ask that the case be moved to adult court if the juvenile is 14 years old. The juvenile court must approve the change in venue. Again, the more serious the charge, the more likely it may be that your child could be tried and sentenced as an adult.

What if My Child is Younger Than 14?

Only under very limited circumstances would a juvenile offender aged 13 years old or less be charged as an adult. A child as young as ten could be charged as an adult-only for homicide or attempted homicide. Or, a juvenile who is already in custody could be tried as an adult for an assault committed while in custody.

Contact a Milwaukee County Juvenile Delinquency Attorney

If your minor child is facing charges in either juvenile or adult court, Bucher Law Group, LLC can help. Our experienced Milwaukee juvenile defense lawyers will fight to keep your child in juvenile court wherever possible, and then keep fighting for a fair outcome. Call us at 262-303-4916 for a free consultation.





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