An 18-year-old Lower Salford man was charged with robbery, theft, receiving stolen property, and terroristic threats after police said he allegedly robbed a gas station near his home on September 18, according to the Reporter. Lower Salford police told the Reporter that cops were dispatched to an Exxon station for a reported robbery in progress where they learned “that a male suspect wearing a hoodie and a black mask entered the establishment, handed a note to the clerk demanding money be placed inside a bag, and then, after obtaining an unspecified amount of cash, fled the gas station on foot.”
Police said that the alleged offender was immediately identified as the suspect and officers went to his residence where they executed a search warrant. Police found the stolen money, and also seized a second demand note, articles of clothing and an unspecified amount of marijuana, according to the Reporter.
Police said neither the clerk nor anyone else was injured during the alleged offense. According to the Reporter, court records indicate the alleged offender is “also facing trial on theft and receiving stolen property in connection with an arrest by East Norriton police earlier this year.”
Differences Between Juvenile and Adult Penalties in West Chester, PA
The age of majority in Pennsylvania is 18, which means that the alleged offender in this case will be charged as an adult. Had he still been 17 years of age or younger, the alleged offender could have possibly had the misdemeanor charges handled in the juvenile court.
As felony offenses, even minors can be charged as adults for alleged robberies. When minors are arrested, the severity of the alleged crime in question typically plays an important role in deciding whether the cases will be handled in juvenile courts or adult courts.
The juvenile justice system in Pennsylvania is much different than the experience for adults in the traditional court system. While juveniles who are adjudicated guilty of committing delinquent acts can face penalties that include possible fines, restitution, and detention, the dispositions in juvenile cases are typically much less serious in nature than the penalties adults can face.
Criminal defense attorneys can still attempt to request hearings in order to have cases transferred to juvenile courts when alleged offenders have been charged as adults, but one of the things they typically need to prove to judges is that an alleged offender who is a minor or was a minor when the alleged offense was committed can be rehabilitated through the juvenile justice system. Judges still reserve the right to have juveniles tried as adults for particularly violent crimes or other offenses.
If you or your child was arrested for any kind of criminal offense in the greater Chester County area, you will want to immediately contact a West Chester criminal defense attorney. A lawyer can help minors achieve the most favorable outcomes to their cases that result in the fewest possible long-term consequences.