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Criminalizing of Pennsylvania Juvenile Offenses

Posted on May 29th, 2013
Adult Prosecution of Minors in West Chester PA

Despite the recent ruling of the US Supreme Court on mandatory sentencing on juveniles in Pennsylvania, there remains a debate on how to balance rehabilitation of a juvenile with the need for harsh punishment to protect juvenile offenders that have been deemed as dangerous and a “menace to society”.

In Chester County and throughout PA, a juvenile can be treated as an adult and lose the protection of the Pennsylvania Juvenile system under some specifics circumstances.  In need of legal advice, help and legal representation, speak to a criminal defense lawyer experienced in juvenile offenses by contacting us by Email or call (610) 692-8700.

How a Juvenile Can Be Charged as an Adult

Any person charged with murder, no matter how young, will be charged as an adult in Pennsylvania.

A minor of  at least 15 years of age at the time of the offense will be charged as an adult if the youth used a deadly weapon or has been previously adjudicated delinquent of one of these offenses:

  • Rape
  • Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse
  • Aggravated assault
  • Robbery
  • Robbery of a motor vehicle
  • Aggravated indecent assault
  • Kidnapping
  • Voluntary manslaughter
  • Attempt, conspiracy or solicitation to commit one of the above offenses

Fighting to Protect the Interests of your Child

Our office is experienced at fighting to get a case decertified and transferred back to juvenile court. During this juvenile decertification hearing, the judge will look at how old the youth was at the time of the offense, what type of crime he or she is being charged with, the types of sentencing and treatment available in both systems, the impact of the crime on the victim and the community, and whether the child is able to be rehabilitated in the juvenile system.

The Impact of a Juvenile Charged as an Adult

The impact of a juvenile being charged as an adult can not be understated.  Though a juvenile defendant will have the same rights as an adult facing criminal prosecution, the juvenile also faces the same penalties and punishment if they are so convicted of the underlying offenses including adult probation, adult incarceration and a public adult criminal record.

Aggressive Representation in Juvenile Cases

Based in suburban Philadelphia at 304 North High Street, West Chester PA 19380, we make your choice all the clearer with locations throughout the metropolitan Philadelphia Pennsylvania, including Center City Philadelphia, West Chester PA, Malvern (serving Downingtown/Exton PA), Kennett Square PA, Lancaster PA, King of Prussia PA, Plymouth Meeting PA, Radnor and Springfield PA.

We serve Downingtown, Paoli, Media, Norristown, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon, Reading and Allentown. For more information or to schedule an appointment by contacting us at (610)  692-8700 or toll free at (877) 529-2422.