FAQ 10: When can minors be charged as adults?
So it’s a question that we get asked a lot, is when can minors be charged as adults. The answer really is complicated and it’s on a case by case basis, but generally, it comes down to the state. They have all the discretion on whether to charge a minor as an adult or not.
Typically, the older the minor is, the closer to 18, the more likely he will be. The more serious the charge is the more like he will be charged as an adult.
If you’re 17 years old and you pick up a murder case, there’s a very very good chance that you are going to be tried as an adult. If you’re 13, you could be as well, but it’s a lot less likely and there’s a lot more that we can do for you from what is called in Florida as “direct file.” That’s the process the state uses to charge a minor as an adult.
If your child or if you have a loved one, a niece, nephew, etc., who was arrested for a juvenile crime and the state has said something or you know that they are at risk of being charged as an adult, please come in and talk to us. We can go over the particulars of the case, his record if he has anything and do everything we can to keep him in juvenile court.