In the criminal justice system there are circumstances where youthful offenders are treated as such, and then there are times when the Court decides to treat a child as an adult, legally speaking. Critics of the system claim that trying a child in an adult justice system does anything but serve justice, because the process can allow kids to fall through the cracks and end up in jail for long periods of time rather than receiving helpful rehabilitative services. The determination as to when a child is tried as an adult for a crime depends on the case, and usually only the most egregious of cases receive this treatment.
A story about two teens, who will be tried as adults, illustrates how the severity of the crime plays a part in this decision. Out of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, a news report recently broke about two teens accused of killing five members of their family. The report includes these facts:
- Brothers Michael and Robert Bever have been arrested and charged with killing their parents as well as three siblings. The siblings range in age from 5 to 12; a 13 year old sister was also harmed but is still alive, as is a 2 year old sister.
- The brothers were tracked through a field and arrested for the murders, and at one time were reportedly cooperating with police.
- Authorities are searching for a motive for the killings, including examining any social media sites the brothers may have had, for clues.
The details of this case, coupled with the violent nature of the crime, were enough for law enforcement to decide to file charges against the 16 and 18 year old brothers as adults. What this means is that the possible range of punishment is much higher than if the boys were charged as juveniles, and this is the case in most cases involving youthful offenders. If you have a loved one that is underage, but facing criminal charges, it is important that the correct classification of crime is made and that the case proceeds in the proper Court. We can help you by reviewing the facts and arguing for a result that is best for your child. Our goal is to help today’s youth recover from criminal charges so they have a shot at a bright future. Call our office today for more information.
If you have been arrested and are facing charges as a juvenile, call our office to learn your options. Schedule an appointment with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. Your first visit is a free initial consultation.