A child under 18 years of age would ordinarily have his or her case heard in juvenile court. In order to try that child as an adult, the child must have been 14 years old or older at the time of the offense. As long as the age limit and certain other criteria are met, juveniles can be tried as adults in Ohio.
Sometimes, a juvenile must be tried as an adult. Aggravated murder or murder is a mandatory transfer to adult court if the child is 16 or 17, or is 14 or 15 and had been to the Ohio Department of Youth Services (DYS). Some serious felony offenses must be tried in adult court if the child is 16 or 17 and went to DYS or used a firearm during the offense.
When it comes to other felony offenses, the juvenile court has the choice to transfer to adult court or keep the matter in juvenile court. After determining if there is probable cause the offense was committed, the court makes a final decision after an amenability hearing. In an amenability hearing, the court decides if the child is likely to be rehabilitated within the juvenile system, and whether the juvenile is a threat to the community. The court considers the child’s age, physical and mental maturity, past attempts at rehabilitation, harm to the victim, use of a firearm, and public safety.
The entire process is known by several names, including; bindover, transfer, waiver, or relinquishment proceedings.
To read more on Ohio juvenile law, click on any of the following links to my other articles related to Ohio juvenile law: Can a juvenile court give an adult sentence; Automatic lifetime registration for juvenile sex offenders is unconstitutional..
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