Recently, the Governor of New York State signed a bill that is working to change the age of being prosecuted as an adult. Currently in New York, 16 and 17 year olds are considered adults when they commit a crime, even though they are not seen as an adult anywhere else until the age of 18. New York and North Carolina are the only states in the country with the age of adulthood at 16.

Under the law, New York’s adult criminal court will open a new division known as “youth part” that will handle cases of 16 and 17 year olds who are charged with a violent felony. However, less severe crimes will be heard in family court. The state plans to remove anyone under the age of 17 from adult correctional facilities on October 1, 2018 and anyone under the age of 18 from these jails on October 1, 2019.

This legislation will impact more than 600 children who are between 13 and 15 years old that have been processed through New York’s adult criminal court system, as well as those convicted of a crime as a juvenile and are serving sentences in jails such as Riker’s Island. Proponents of this bill believe it is important to remove children from these settings because they are 34-percnt more likely to be re-arrested for serious crimes. Additionally, they believe these childen are more likely to be subject to high rates of physical and emotional abuse that can be harmful for years down the road.

If you have been charged with a crime as a juvenile, contact our firm today for strong legal representation.

If you are in need of experienced and dedicated legal counsel, please contact The Penichet Firm and we will be happy to assist you in your family or criminal law matters.