When Can a Juvenile be Charged as an Adult in Michigan?

Sometimes it’s hard to determine when a child’s mistake is one of youthful ignorance or a foreshadowing of the person they will become.  In Michigan the determination of whether to charge a child as a juvenile or an adult can be made by the prosecutor, the judge or the charges that are being filed.

  • When the prosecutor designates that a juvenile be tried as an adult, the court will look at several factors when deciding to approve the petition, including:
    • The seriousness of the crime;
    • The juvenile’s culpability (or amount of involvement);
    • The juvenile’s prior records;
    • The adequacy of punishment in the juvenile system
  • When the judge designates that a juvenile be tried as an adult, the court determines that it is in the best interest of the public that the juvenile be tried as an adult.
  • Certain types of cases, when committed by a juvenile, are automatically designated as adult criminal cases.
    • burning of a dwelling house
    • assault with intent to commit murder
    • assault with intent to maim
    • assault with intent to rob while armed
    • attempted murder
    • first-degree murder
    • second-degree murder
    • kidnapping
    • first-degree criminal sexual conduct
    • armed robbery
    • carjacking
    • robbery of a bank, safe, or vault
    • possession, manufacture, or delivery of, or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, 1,000 grams or more of any schedule 1 or 2 controlled substance
    • assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder
    • first-degree home invasion
    • escape or attempted escape from a medium security or high security facility operated by the Department of Human Services or a high-security facility operated by a private agency under contract with the Department of Human Services

For more information on juvenile cases, contact Samantha Moffett at 248-624-5500 or Samantha@ambroselawgroup.com.


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