SB 40 - Under current law, children who are 17 years of age are prosecuted for criminal offenses in courts of general jurisdiction. This act provides that, unless the child is certified as an adult or is being prosecuted for a traffic or curfew violation, children who are 17 years of age must be prosecuted in the juvenile court system.
This act repeals a provision of current law making certain amendments to definitions relating to juvenile courts effective upon appropriations by the General Assembly for juvenile officers.
Under this act, no person under the age of 18 may be detained in an adult jail unless the person has been certified as an adult.
Current law allows offenders who are under 17 and a half years of age and have been certified as adults to be eligible for dual jurisdiction of both the juvenile and adult criminal codes. Dual jurisdiction allows an offender who has been found guilty in an adult court to complete a juvenile sentence in a Division of Youth Services facility. This act provides that offenders under the age of 18 are eligible for the program.
Currently, children between the ages of 12 and 17 who have committed a felony can be prosecuted in a court of general jurisdiction rather than the juvenile court. If a child between the ages of 12 and 17 has committed certain specified crimes, the court must hold a hearing under current law to determine whether the child should be prosecuted in a court of general jurisdiction. Under this act, only children ages 16 and 17 may be prosecuted in a court of general jurisdiction and only if they have committed certain specified crimes. This act removes the mandatory hearing. Instead, the hearing to transfer the case from the juvenile court is upon motion of the court, the juvenile officer, the child, or the child’s custodian.
This act is similar to HCS/HB 274 (2017) and HCS/HB 430 (2017), and contains provisions similar to SB 685 (2016), HB 1812 (2016), SB 213 (2015), and HB 300 (2015).