Youthful Offender vs. Juvenile in Connceticut
In Connecticut, Juvenile offenders are 16 years old or younger. If your child is arrested and is 17 years old, they are prosecuted in the adult courts, but they are given the presumptive status of Youthful Offender.
Similar to juvenile courts, Youthful offenders have closed proceedings, albeit in the adult courts. Also, like juvenile courts, there is no jury trial for Youthful Offenders. These cases are heard exclusively by judges. If a case is on the Youthful Offender docket, it is possible for the state to make a motion to transfer the case to the adult docket. You are entitled to a hearing on this transfer and can fight it. The use of a Youthful Offender program can have an impact on your child’s ability to use other diversionary programs in the future, so it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible about the defense of the case.