shutterstock_1244745There are many crimes for which a juvenile may be held accountable in the same way as an adult. When a child commits a serious felony, they may appear in front of a judge and jury in the adult system and have their sentence handed to them by a group of people that doesn’t understand their history or emotional state. This can be very frightening for parents and guardians.

While their are definite disadvantages to being tried in adult court, their are advantages as well. Here is a list of both.

Advantages of Being Heard in Adult Court

In certain cases, it is in the child’s best interest to be heard in the adult system.

  • When in an adult court, juveniles have a right to jury. In most states, this is not possible in the juvenile system, where only a judge or magistrate is present.
  • Juries sitting in an adult court may be more sympathetic to a child than they would to a person of age.
  • A juvenile’s case may move more quickly through the adult system, especially in areas where the juvenile system is bogged down.

Disadvantages of Being Heard in Adult Court

In other instances, being heard in adult court is not in the best interest of the child. Disadvantages include:

  • Juveniles heard in adult court are subject to more severe sentencing. It is rare for a child to be sentenced to life-without-parole, but is is a possibility.
  • The range of sentences in juvenile court is wider.
  • The child may be forced to spend time in an adult prison instead of a juvenile detention facility.
  • A conviction in an adult court will not be sealed once the child turns 18.
  • There is more social stigma for a child who is sentenced as an adult.

No matter where your child is being heard, knowing that your child is facing serious consequences for their alleged actions can be frightening and stressful. When your child is accused of committing a crime in Orlando, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney assisting your child and your family. Call our team today and schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation.