When is A Juvenile Tried as an Adult in Virginia?

When Is A Juvenile Tried as an Adult in Virginia?

In Virginia, a child who is at least 14 years old can be charged and tried as an adult if he or she commits a crime that would be considered a felony if they were an adult. Under Virginia law, the Commonwealth Attorney (prosecuting attorney) has broad discretion about when to try a juvenile as an adult. That’s one of the reasons you want an attorney who has a good rapport with the prosecutor, and a defense attorney who knows just the right amount of pressure to put on the prosecution to get the best result

As a general rule, the court looks at the seriousness of the crime, the teen’s participation in the crime and other factors. When the court rules the child should be tried as an adult, it’s considered a “juvenile transfer” because the case is transferred to adult court.

Juvenile Transfer Has Serious Consequences

This is a very serious consequence and it is important to get an experienced juvenile defense attorney involved in the process as early as possible. This transfer results in different rights, restrictions, procedures and consequences, and early involvement is crucial.

If a juvenile is convicted as an adult, they may be sentenced in the adult system to live with adult criminals. They lose access to the juvenile system of education and rehabilitation. However, there are still options unless the charge carries mandatory adult time.

Juvenile criminal charges are serious and should be handled by an attorney with significant experience in the juvenile court system, the schools and working with juvenile crime prosecutors. There are a variety of juvenile-specific legal defense strategies that are complex and quite different from those a family attorney or adult defense attorney may typically employ.

If you or your child is facing criminal charges or is part of an investigation, even if they haven’t been charged with a crime, don’t wait.

Call JRLaw, PLC now at (757) 447-0080 for a no-obligation, free consultation about your case. We can also be reached online by clicking here.

We proudly represent juveniles in the following areas: Newport, Hampton, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Norfolk and Poquoson.

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  • Traffic Violations Hampton District: Misdemeanor Reckless Driving
  • Felony Virginia Beach Juvenile: Domestic Assault
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  • Traffic Violations Sussex County: Reckless Driving
  • Norfolk District: Disorderly Conduct Dismissed
  • Misdemeanor Virginia Beach District: ASAP Show Cause
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  • Felony Virginia Beach District: Drunk in Public
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