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Detroit Legal Blog

New Law in Michigan Raises the Age of Juvenile Offenders

Nov 24, 2019, by Maurice Davis in Criminal Defense, Juvenile Law
Juvenile Offender

Being arrested can have a lasting impact on your life. You may be facing a long legal process, and the charges filed against you can be found on your permanent record for years to come. Michigan prosecutors are often known to be very aggressive as they pursue a criminal conviction. However, a new law will raise the age of juvenile offenders in Michigan. This change in our state’s laws will have a significant effect on thousands of teenagers who are arrested in Michigan every year. Whether you are facing juvenile or adult criminal charges, it’s important to act quickly to defend your rights. Hiring a skilled defense attorney can help you protect your future and move on with your life.

Contact the Davis Law Group to speak with an experienced attorney if you have been charged with a crime. We know how important it is to build a strong defense if you are to succeed in a criminal prosecution. Contact our office in Detroit at (313) 818-3238.

New Law Will Consider More Teenagers as Juveniles Instead of Adults

A 17-year-old who is arrested on criminal charges in Michigan is automatically considered an adult under current law. However, this will change in October of 2021. Governor Whitmer recently signed into law a bill which will allow 17 year olds to be considered minors when arrested. The difference between being considered an adult or minor in the criminal justice system is significant. While every case is unique, some of the aspects of Michigan’s juvenile system that are different than the adult system includes:

  • A more supportive setting: Unlike adult court, the juvenile court process places more emphasis on improving the offender’s life over simply incarcerating them. For example, a juvenile court officer may work with the parents of the offender in order to help the minor improve their behavior and avoid future legal problems.
  • Counseling and other programs offered: Juvenile offenders generally have access to counseling or drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs. Getting assistance from these types of programs can be of great help to minors as they seek to better their lives.
  • Reduced impact on offender’s personal record: A permanent record with adult offenses can make it very difficult for a young person to seek employment, find housing, or enroll in higher education. It’s much more easy for someone to move on with their lives in the months and years that follow the juvenile court process.

While Michigan’s new law will allow 17-year-olds to be considered juvenile offenders, it’s important to understand that this impact will not be universal. The new law simply prevents all 17-year-olds from being automatically sent to adult court. State law will still provide for minors as young as 14 to be tried for crimes as an adult. Many factors are considered before sending a minor to the adult court system. These include whether the crime would be considered a felony had an adult committed it, the criminal record of the child, and the psychological history of the suspected offender.

How a Lawyer Can Help After a Minor Is Charged With a Crime

The legal challenges that someone faces after an arrest can be complex and intimidating. This is especially true for minors who find themselves in police custody. We strongly encourage you to act quickly if your child has been arrested. Having a skilled lawyer is essential in defending your child’s rights through the entire process. Our office has represented many minors after an arrest, and we know how to build a case that can keep them out of prison and protect their future. An experienced defense lawyer can help you with the following after an arrest:

  • Get your case into juvenile court: A knowledgeable lawyer can act quickly to make sure that a minor’s arrest leads to juvenile court instead of adult court. This involves demonstrating how juvenile court would be fair while also resulting in a better outcome for all parties involved.
  • Work closely with the juvenile attorney referee and court officer: These court officials manage juvenile hearings and determine case outcomes. Your lawyer must work closely with them to make sure that you do not suffer an unfair or detrimental outcome after your arrest.
  • Establish a plan to resolve your case in a favorable manner: Your attorney can make it clear to the court that your case must be dropped, or that you should at least avoid time in custody. Perhaps counseling or community service would satisfy the court while also keeping you out of a juvenile detention center.

Contact the Davis Law Group After an Arrest

Michigan’s new law raising the age of juvenile offenders offers hope to 17 year olds who face criminal charges. Instead of automatically landing in adult court, these individuals may go through the juvenile system. Being in juvenile court can offer you many more options for seeking help while also avoiding a long sentence and a serious permanent record. However, it’s important to make sure that you have a skilled defense lawyer working for your child. A knowledgeable lawyer will understand how to transfer the case to juvenile court. Furthermore, your lawyer can help the juvenile system attorneys determine the best outcome for your juvenile that also protects their future. Do not hesitate to contact an experienced Michigan defense lawyer after an arrest.

Call the Davis Law Group to discuss your case with a Michigan defense lawyer who knows how to help you through the entire legal process ahead. We understand how state law will apply to your case, and we know that your future depends on a fair outcome. Contact our office in Detroit today at (313) 818-3238.