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The complexities of Juvenile Crimes

Crimes committed by Juveniles can be prosecuted in either the Family Court (in a juvenile delinquency proceeding) or in the Criminal Court (as a juvenile or adolescent offender) depending upon the nature and severity of the charges and the age of the person charged.

Generally, any youth between the ages of seven and fifteen who is charged with an act that would constitute a crime if committed by an adult (one over the age of fifteen) can be prosecuted in the Family Court as a juvenile delinquent. Such person possesses most of the same statutory and constitutional protections (due process rights) that an adult prosecuted in the Criminal Court has. One exception is that in the Family Court, guilt or non-guilt is decided by a Family Court judge (as opposed to a jury) after a fact-finding hearing (as opposed to a trial).

Under the Raise the Age law, all 16-year-olds and all 17-year-olds charged with felony offenses are treated as Adolescent Offenders. This means that the cases start in the Youth Part of the Supreme or County Court. Cases can be transferred to the Family Court, where the child will be prosecuted and treated as a Juvenile Delinquent. Adolescent Offenders that stay in the Youth Part are treated as adults, but at sentencing, the Judge will consider the child’s age when deciding the appropriate disposition (such as a Youthful Offender adjudication) and sentence. Adolescent Offenders have access to intervention services and programs.

Charges for Juveniles and Sentencing Guidelines

In Family Court, there are a variety of available dispositions for juvenile delinquents ranging from dismissal of the charges to placement of the offender in a secure facility run by the Division for Youth. [1]

In Criminal or Supreme Court, a child (thirteen years of age) who is charged with Murder in the Second Degree or a sexually motivated felony can be charged as a juvenile offender. Similarly, a child who is fourteen and fifteen years old, who is charged with any crime from a certain list of violent felony offenses can also be charged as a juvenile offender.

Generally, children charged as Juvenile Offenders face mandatory upstate (more than one year) jail time if they are convicted of the crime charged unless they qualify for Youthful Offender treatment or unless their prosecution can be diverted or removed to Family Court.

Children, aged sixteen to eighteen, charged with any type of criminal activity (even misdemeanors) are prosecuted in the Criminal Court. If a dismissal, diversionary program or reduction of charges to a non-criminal level cannot be achieved, experienced defense counsel will focus efforts on obtaining what is known as a Youthful Offender adjudication. This replaces a criminal conviction so as to prevent the client from having any criminal record and also reduce the child’s exposure to having to serve time in jail.

Choose a Juvenile Defense Lawyer with a Proven Track Record

Victor Knapp, Esq. has over 40 years of experience in representing children charged with various offenses in both the Criminal Courts and Family Courts of New York as well as in Federal Court. Realizing the sensitivity, dynamics and importance of early intervention in representing children, Victor Knapp has been very successful in obtaining favorable dispositions for his clients.

[1] Other potential dispositions include an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal (ACD), conditional discharge, probation, placement at home or with a suitable relative or private person, placement with the Commissioner of Social Services (foster home or another authorized agency), and non-secure or limited secure placement.

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Juvenile Crime Charged as an Adult in New York

Let’s get your future back on track and see what we need to do to get things started.  Remember that Mr. Victor Knapp has been in private practice as a criminal defense lawyer since 1981, and has offices directly across the street from the Criminal Courthouse in Kew Gardens, New York. He has successfully represented thousands of persons, including high profile targets, accused or suspected of committing drug offenses throughout his legal career during the investigatory, arraignment, conference, Grand Jury, Pre-trial suppression, trial and post-conviction stages. He practices throughout the New York areas and he is available 24/7 for emergencies as well as for all state cases on Long Island, Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan and Westchester / upstate New York and for federal cases nationwide.

You need an experienced lawyer to deal with the complexities of Juvenile Crimes and Charged as an Adult in New York.  Attorney Victor Knapp is here to serve you. With offices conveniently located in Kew Gardens, the practice is uniquely situated to serve clients in Queens, Brooklyn, Long Island, and the five-borough area. To arrange for a private case evaluation, call (718) 263-9000 at any time or day or night. You can also contact us online.

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    The Law Offices Of Victor Knapp

    Mr. Victor Knapp is a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Kew Gardens neighborhood of Queens, New York.  Many say that he is the best Criminal Defense Lawyer in Queens and the surrounding neighborhoods of Jamaica, Forest Hills, Bayside, Woodside, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Queens Village, Bellerose, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Richmond Hill, Ozone Park, Glen Oaks, Howard Beach, Middle Village, Ridgewood, Long Island City, as well as other communities in the counties of Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, including Nassau County, Suffolk County and on the East End (Hamptons) of Long Island.