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Can Teens Be Charged as Adults in Ohio?

Home|Blog|Criminal Defense|Can Teens Be Charged as Adults in Ohio?

Sometimes life plays out like a storm on the horizon. Dark clouds gathering, a sudden chill in the air, the ominous quiet before the lightning strikes. This could be how it feels when a teenager in your family is standing on the precipice of the law, their future hanging in a delicate balance. The question rattles through the anxious hearts of families: Can teens be charged as adults in Ohio?

There’s a dichotomy at play here, as states around the country grapple with the intersection of youth and responsibility. Ohio is no exception to this rule, with its laws explicitly allowing for teenagers to be charged as adults under certain circumstances.

What you must understand is that the leap from the juvenile justice system to adult court isn’t taken lightly. This decisive jump is based on several key factors – the severity of the alleged crime, the teenager’s age, and any previous brushes with the law. These components intertwine, forming the heart of the question.

Consider this – The Ohio Revised Code (ORC) clearly states the conditions under which a minor, aged 14 or older, may be tried as an adult. This process, typically reserved for severe offenses such as murder or aggravated robbery, underscores the gravity of the situation. Each case, like a fingerprint, is unique. It’s a kaleidoscope of facts, each one influencing the next, painting a comprehensive picture for the courts to evaluate.

To shed more light on this intricate web, we must delve deeper into the concept of “bindovers”. This term splits into two distinct paths: “mandatory” and “discretionary.” In a “mandatory” bindover, the court’s hands are tied – the case must move to adult court if the teenager is 16 or older and stands accused of a grave offense. The “discretionary” bindover gives the juvenile court a degree of autonomy, a space to decide whether the adult court is the appropriate setting.

When the shadow of an adult charge falls on a teenager, it’s a daunting prospect, like standing at the foot of a mountain and gazing upwards. But here’s the silver lining: being charged does not equate to being convicted. With a robust legal defense, there are various strategies that can either prevent the worst outcomes.

In the stormy sea of these legal battles, the compass that a family needs is an experienced juvenile defense attorney. They’re the lighthouse guiding you through rough waters. The VanNoy Firm, seasoned in defending the rights of young individuals within Ohio’s court system, can prove to be an invaluable ally in these challenging times. Legal representation can help build a fortress around the accused, protecting their rights and advocating for the best possible outcome. 

This article is a primer, a first step in understanding a complex issue. For more comprehensive insights and personalized advice, connect directly with legal experts at The VanNoy Firm.

Remember, the ultimate goal is to ensure that a fleeting mistake does not cast a long, immutable shadow over a young person’s future. Armed with knowledge and guided by legal expertise, families can navigate these rocky waters.

Teens, the law, and the adult justice system in Ohio. A complicated triad, indeed. But with the right information and the right support, you can make informed decisions that could significantly alter a young person’s trajectory.

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About The Author

Anthony S. VanNoy

Trial Attorney

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