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Can A Juvenile Be Charged As An Adult?

Whether a young adult should be charged and tried as an adult is a question continuously debated in Texas courts. Judges are often hesitant to sentence someone to a lifetime in prison before they even reach legal adulthood. If your child is facing criminal charges, Stephen H. Miller, Attorney at Law, can help. Mr. Miller has more than three decades of experience. He staunchly defends young adults facing the juvenile or adult criminal justice systems.

The Certification Process

Texas is one of only six states to treat 17-year-olds as adults. But under a process known as certification, juveniles as young as 14 can be charged and tried under the adult system. When pursuing the certification process, the prosecution considers:

  • The child’s age and maturity
  • Any previous juvenile offenses
  • Whether the crime was against a person or property
  • Whether the child is a danger to the community
  • The child’s likelihood of reformation

Typically, the prosecution only seeks a determinant sentence for very serious crimes involving the death of another.

A Reformative Approach

In recent years, there has been a strong movement away from certification, as juveniles have a greater prospect of reforming their unlawful behavior than adults. Judges here in Collin County have begun to recognize that the crime may be the result of peer pressure or the child’s upbringing. Teens are also prone to risk-taking and making rash decisions without being able to comprehend the consequences of their actions.

Shepherding Your Child

As both a skilled juvenile criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor, Mr. Miller is uniquely qualified to defend and shepherd your child through the adult criminal justice system. Schedule an appointment at the firm’s offices in Garland or Plano by email or by calling 972-578-7097 at anytime, 24 hours a day.