In the state of Louisiana, minors can be charged as adults in certain circumstances. Minors who are convicted of crimes are typically sent to juvenile facilities until they reach the age of majority. Let’s take a look at the factors that may determine if someone who is under the age of 18 will be tried as an adult.
How serious is the charge?
Typically, an underage individual who is charged with a nonviolent criminal offense will be tried as a minor. This means that they will be sent to a juvenile facility to serve any sentence that is handed down by a judge. However, an individual who is charged with a serious crime such as murder, rape or arson might be tried as an adult.
The key differences between juvenile and adult trials
A person who is convicted of a crime as a minor will likely spend less time in custody. Furthermore, they will likely receive an education, job training or other resources to reduce their odds of going back to jail or prison. Finally, most cases involving juvenile offenders are sealed after they are resolved.
If a young person is tried as an adult, the law is mostly focused on punishing the defendant. Your criminal law attorney may provide more information regarding the differences between how minors and adults are treated by the legal system.
Younger people don’t necessarily understand what they’re doing
The reason why juveniles may receive relatively easy sentences is that their brains aren’t fully developed. Therefore, they lack the emotional maturity to fully understand the consequences of their actions.
Even if you are under the age of 18 when convicted of a crime, you may face the possibility of spending time in jail or prison. An attorney may cast doubt on evidence used against you at trial in an effort to get the case dismissed, to negotiate a favorable plea deal or obtain an acquittal.