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Adolescent Offenders

Due to the Raise the Age law, all 16 years olds charged with felony offenses on or after October 1, 2018, are treated as adolescent offenders (AO). This means that the cases start in the Youth Part of the Supreme or County Court. The cases are heard by Family Court Judges. Cases can be transferred to the Family Court, where the child will be 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 punishment. AO’s have access to intervention services and programs.

 

Cases Transferred to Family Court

Non-violent felonies will be sent to the Family Court unless the District Attorney files a motion within 30 days asking the court to keep the case in the Youth Part due to “extraordinary circumstances.” If the District Attorney files a motion, the defendant has a chance to file papers in opposition. A hearing may be held. The Judge must decide if the case should be sent to the Family Court within 5 days of the hearing or motion.

Violent felonies can also be sent to the Family Court if they pass the 3-part test and the charges do NOT include any of the following:

  • displaying a deadly weapon
  • causing significant physical injury
  • engaging in unlawful sexual conduct

Violent felony cases that fail the 3-part test because the charges include a display of a weapon, significant physical injury or a sex crime, can only be sent to the Family Court with the District Attorney’s consent.

Violent felony cases that pass the 3-part test will be sent to the Family Court unless the District Attorney files a motion within 30 days showing “extraordinary circumstances” as to why the case should stay in the Youth Part.

Vehicle and Traffic Law misdemeanor charges and Class A felonies other than Class A drug offenses cannot be sent to Family Court.

See Raise the Age Flowchart.

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