When Children Can be Tried as Adults: Direct File FAQs (Pt. 1)

August 24, 2014

Here are some answers to common questions related to when juveniles can be tried as adults. Contact Christopher Griffin for the best defense against any juvenile charges.

Here are some answers to common questions related to when juveniles can be tried as adults. Contact Christopher Griffin for the best defense against any juvenile charges.

When juveniles are arrested and charged with certain crimes, they may face the possibility of having their case tried in the adult court system (i.e., a district court), rather than the juvenile justice system. This can present a significant problem to juveniles, as:

  • The adult court system can hand down far harsher penalties than the juvenile system, and it is usually less inclined to favor rehabilitative sentences (instead of purely punitive sentences).
  • Convictions in the adult system can haunt juveniles for the rest of their lives (as the records for these convictions may not necessarily be sealed like the records for juvenile offense convictions).

In this blog series, we will answer some common questions people have about juveniles being tried as adults (these cases are also known as direct file cases). If you have questions not answered in this blog or you need any assistance helping your child resolve a criminal case, contact Denver Criminal Defense Lawyer Christopher Griffin.

Answers to Questions about Direct File Cases

Q: Who makes the decision to transfer juvenile case to the adult system?

A: While the district attorney will usually make the decision where to file the criminal charges against the accused juvenile, in some cases, a juvenile court may also decide to transfer a juvenile case to the adult district court.

Q: What factors contribute to juvenile cases being directly filed with the adult criminal justice system?

A: The three primary factors that are considered when a district attorney is deciding whether or not to directly file a juvenile criminal case with a district court (i.e., the adult criminal court) include:

  • The age of the juvenile at the time the alleged crime was committed
  • The nature of the criminal offense associated with the case (namely, whether it was a violent or sexual felony offense)
  • The juvenile’s history of delinquency or criminal behavior.

In general, a DA will be more inclined to transfer a juvenile criminal case to a district court when the juvenile is older, has been charged with more serious offenses and/or has a history of delinquency or criminal behavior.

For some more answers to common questions about direct file cases, don’t miss the upcoming second and third parts of this blog.

Denver and Boulder Metro Area Criminal Defense Lawyer at the Griffin Law Firm

Has your child been charged with a crime? If so, Christopher Griffin wants you to know that he is ready to immediately start providing your child with the strongest possible defense and will work diligently to minimize the chances that the case is moved from the juvenile system to the adult criminal justice system.

When you choose to retain Christopher Griffin, you can trust that he will be committed to advocating your rights and will work relentlessly to help you obtain the best possible outcome to your case. In fact, our steadfast dedication to the notion that the accused are innocent until proven guilty means that we will do everything in our power to help you resolve your case in the most favorable and efficient manner possible.

Contact Us Today

To receive a complete evaluation of your case, along with professional advice regarding your best options, contact us by calling 303-280-1070 or by emailing us using the form at the top of this page.

Categories: Blogs, Criminal Defense FAQs, Juvenile Crimes