When Is A Minor Tried As An Adult?

Few things can be more terrifying than having one of your children get arrested, especially if you aren’t clear on the inner workings of the justice system. Minors under the age of 17 are usually tried in a juvenile court, but there are certain situations in which they can be tried as an adult. Any minor tried as an adult is entering into a pretty scary situation, but ABC Bail bonds can help you be prepared if you have any concerns.

The Defendant’s Age Is Considered

Texas has two specific courts a defendant may be tried at depending on their age. In normal circumstances, children from the age of 10 to the age of 17 will be tried as juveniles, with anyone over 18 being considered adults. However, after the age of 14, if the defendant’s crimes are severe enough, these age regulations might be discounted. Age is not the only factor but instead acts as a starting point for how the child’s actions will be judged.

The Severity Of The Crime 

The severity of the crime committed by your child also plays a part in how their case will be tried in addition to their age.

A 14-year-old is more likely to be granted leniency than an older teen, unless the charges they face are very serious, such as a criminal felony, aggravated controlled substance felony, or a first-degree felony charge. However, the older the teen is, the lower the criteria for a having minor tried as an adult since the maturity of the child is taken into consideration. At 15 years of age, a second-third degree or state jail felony can get them transferred to the adult court.

In Texas, anyone facing a misdemeanor or a felony charge is automatically sent to the adult court system if they are 17 regardless of any other factors.

What Are The Steps To Being Tried As An Adult?

Before a minor can be tried as an adult, your child will first attend a transfer hearing during which the court will decide if the defendant should be tried in a criminal court instead of a juvenile court. After the motion is accepted, the juvenile court will waive its authority over the minor, who will then continue in the process along the guidelines of an adult’s case.

Call ABC Bail Bonds For Help

If your child has been arrested in the Houston area, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Our bondsmen at ABC Bail Bonds can give your child a speedy release, so you can have the time to help them find the most qualified lawyer around. 

Whether your child will be tried as a juvenile or an adult, posting bail will grant you valuable time to prepare. You and your child will have the opportunity to build their defense team and spend some time together before their trial. Our bondsmen will keep all information confidential and we will help you and your child get through the bail process. 

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