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When Can a Minor in Illinois be Tried as an Adult?


One of the worst nightmares a parent can experience is getting a call from the police and finding out that their child is in custody. Although most juvenile offenders are subject to the juvenile court system, there are some cases where a minor can be charged as an adult.

In Illinois, a child who is at least 16 years of age can automatically be tried in adult court if he/she commits certain serious felonies. However, if a child is under 16 years old and commits a serious felony, the persecutor may ask the judge to transfer the case to adult court.

Common crimes that result in a 16- or 17-year-old juvenile offender being charged in adult court:

When a prosecutor recommends the transfer of a case, the judge must first consider several factors prior to making a decision. Common factors include the nature of the offense, the criminal history of the defendant, culpability, and mental capacity.

The child’s lawyer has an opportunity to argue against the transfer to adult court.

The main difference between juvenile and adult court is that the former is designed to rehabilitate the offender, while the latter is designed to punish. If your child is tried in adult court, a conviction results in serving penalties that an adult criminal offender would face.

If your child has been arrested for a criminal offense in Chicago, IL, contact the Law Office of Steven Fine and schedule a free case evaluation today.