If a person under the age of 18 commits a serious crime, they can be tried as an adult. The laws vary in each state with some courts imposing adult charges on those as young as 13. In Ohio, criminal lawyers say the threshold is typically connected to the severity of the offense and other factors. Here is a guide on how the rules apply to minors who live in Ohio.
When Juveniles Are Charged as Adults in Ohio
Generally speaking, Ohio law looks at two conditions when determining whether to charge a juvenile as an adult for a crime. First, if the offense was committed at the age of 14, they can be charged as an adult. They can also be prosecuted as an adult for a category two offense, which includes aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, aggravated arson, rape, kidnapping, involuntary manslaughter, and voluntary manslaughter -- if they were 16 or 17 years old when the crime was committed.
Second, Ohio law says probable cause must be proven for any of the crimes mentioned above. Criminal lawyers say judges are required to examine other factors surrounding the crime, including the juvenile’s mental state and if the individual was previously deemed a serious youth offender. All of these factors are taken into consideration with the judge having the final say on whether a minor can be charged as an adult.
How Cases May Differ
When it comes to juveniles and whether to charge them as adults, no two cases are ever alike. It’s important to emphasize that the laws are different in each state. Some jurisdictions must follow the letter of the law in assessing an adult charge while others offer more flexibility. A criminal lawyer who represents a juvenile in these cases will need to know the specific laws in their respective states to ensure they are providing appropriate counsel.
The law firm of Pater, Pater & Halverson in Hamilton, OH has expert specialization in handling cases involving juveniles. This team of criminal lawyers has more than 90 years of combined legal experience so you can always expect professional representation. They take the time to walk you through the entire process with clear and concise explanations in a no-judgment environment. Should you ever need their services, call (513) 867-1411 to schedule a consultation. You can also view their areas of practices online.