Juvenile delinquency is “the habitual committing of criminal acts or offenses by a young person, especially one below the age at which ordinary criminal prosecution is possible.” That means when someone who’s not old enough or mature enough to be tried as an adult repeatedly commits crimes, they’re considered a juvenile delinquent.
Being arrested as a juvenile in Wisconsin is serious – and it can come with serious consequences. Check out these three things you need to know, whether you’re the one who was arrested and charged with a crime or you’re reading this because your child has gotten into some trouble.
Related: Juvenile delinquency in Wisconsin
3 Things to Know About Juvenile Delinquency
Juvenile delinquency can come with serious consequences. Here are three things you need to know:
1. The district attorney can petition the juvenile court and ask for a juvenile aged 14 or older to be tried as an adult. This can only happen under certain circumstances, such as when a child who is at least 14 years old and is alleged to have committed:
- Aggravated burglary
- Armed robbery
- Felony murder
- Manufacturing or distribution of a controlled substance
- Participation in gang activity
- Reckless homicide
- Sexual assault
2. Some offenses are subject to adult court supervision, such as when a juvenile who’s at least 10 years old who allegedly attempted or committed first-degree or second-degree murder, or reckless homicide. Likewise, a juvenile who has allegedly committed assault or battery while in a juvenile correctional facility (or residential center), or who has previously been considered delinquent, can be subjected to adult court supervision.
3. All 17-year-olds are automatically treated as adults in the Wisconsin criminal justice system. This is unfortunate, because people’s brains don’t even finish developing until they’re about 25 years old.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Juvenile Delinquency?
If your child has been accused of a crime – even one that wouldn’t require an adult trial – we may be able to help you. Call us right away at 414-383-6700 for a free consultation with an experienced juvenile defense lawyer.