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  1. #1
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    Default Court of Jurisdiction for Charges Filed Against an Adult for a Juvenile Offense

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Minnesota or Wisconsin

    I ask patience over my perhaps poor use of legal terms – I will do my best to explain what I mean. I tried to find the answer to my question through research, but I could not find anything, so I thought I would try this forum.

    Say that a person commits, at an age of 0-10 years, an offense that would be a felony if it were committed by an adult. If charges were filed quickly, the juvenile courts would have jurisdiction on account of the defendant’s age. But what if the charges are filed many years later after the offense and the defendant has now become an adult? I found much discussion about adult courts being given jurisdiction over juveniles for juvenile offenses, but my scenario raises the image of something like an adult being tried in a juvenile court for a juvenile offense.

    Similarly, is the idea of juvenile court jurisdiction:

    1. To spare the offender from adult court jurisdiction, but only so that the offender can still develop into a lawful citizen as they reach emotional/psychological maturity, and that a person is subject to adult court jurisdiction for any offense committed, regardless of age, once they are an adult and finished maturing?

    – or –

    2. To spare the offender from adult court jurisdiction because the offender, when committing the offense, did not have the intentions and understanding/rationalization of the offense that an adult with criminal intentions would?

    Thank you very much.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Court of Jurisdiction for Charges Filed Against an Adult for a Juvenile Offense

    The crime only occurred in one state. When you figure that much out, let us know the state and the crime.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Court of Jurisdiction for Charges Filed Against an Adult for a Juvenile Offense

    Okay, Wisconsin and 948.02 (1)(e).

    Thank you, Mr. Knowitall.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Court of Jurisdiction for Charges Filed Against an Adult for a Juvenile Offense

    "948.02  Sexual assault of a child.

    948.02(1)(e) Whoever has sexual contact with a person who has not attained the age of 13 years is guilty of a Class B felony."


    You're saying that someone not more than 10 years old did this, and now years later when that person has reached the age of majority for this act, he's being charged as an adult? They want to punish him for a serious felony and label him for life as a child molester as an adult?

    "This person" needs a lawyer, and a good one.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Court of Jurisdiction for Charges Filed Against an Adult for a Juvenile Offense

    cmre3456, thank you for your help.

    I am sorry - I did not mean to imply that any charges have actually been filed against the now adult offender. Rather, the situation is theoretical. Does what I interpret as your surprise go to say that charges filed against the now adult would be surprising?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Court of Jurisdiction for Charges Filed Against an Adult for a Juvenile Offense

    Quote Quoting PineTree9
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    cmre3456, thank you for your help.

    I am sorry - I did not mean to imply that any charges have actually been filed against the now adult offender. Rather, the situation is theoretical. Does what I interpret as your surprise go to say that charges filed against the now adult would be surprising?
    Charges filed wouldn't be unheard of, but charging someone as an adult for something he did a long time ago when no older than ten would surprise me. It does happen that children are charged as an adult in particularly horrendous crimes.

    In Wisconsin, the statute of limitations runs until the victim is 45 years old. I believe from other cases that this is because such memories can be suppressed until the adult remembers, perhaps during counseling. I can't comment as to whether those "memories" are planted by a "therapist." I will say that I disagree with that law, but it is what it is.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Court of Jurisdiction for Charges Filed Against an Adult for a Juvenile Offense

    Quote Quoting cmre3456
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    It does happen that children are charged as an adult in particularly horrendous crimes.
    I do not mean to push it, but I want to make sure I understand exactly what you mean. With this quote, do you mean that:

    1. A child who, say, murders someone and then faces charges quickly after the offense (while still a child) may have the jurisdiction over their case be given to an adult court from a juvenile court because of the horrendous nature of the offense?

    - or -

    2. The child above could, having never faced charges as a child, face charges for their horrendous childhood offense many years later as a person of adult age (the offender is now of adult age) and be charged in (and be subject to the jurisdiction of) an adult court?

    Quote Quoting cmre3456
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    Charges filed wouldn't be unheard of, but charging someone as an adult for something he did a long time ago when no older than ten would surprise me.
    Does age play an important role? For instance, would the level of your surprise go up if the child was no older then eight? Six?

    Quote Quoting cmre3456
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    In Wisconsin, the statute of limitations runs until the victim is 45 years old. I believe from other cases that this is because such memories can be suppressed until the adult remembers, perhaps during counseling. I can't comment as to whether those "memories" are planted by a "therapist." I will say that I disagree with that law, but it is what it is.
    That is interesting information. I believe Wisconsin no longer has a statute of limitations on 948.02, but I am glad that you brought up statutes of limitations. The concept of a person later in life (now adult age) being charged in (and being subject to the jurisdiction of) an adult court for a childhood offense seems to require the offense to have a long or nonexistent statute of limitations.

    Thank you again, cmre3456.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Court of Jurisdiction for Charges Filed Against an Adult for a Juvenile Offense

    Quote Quoting PineTree9
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    I do not mean to push it, but I want to make sure I understand exactly what you mean. With this quote, do you mean that:

    1. A child who, say, murders someone and then faces charges quickly after the offense (while still a child) may have the jurisdiction over their case be given to an adult court from a juvenile court because of the horrendous nature of the offense?

    - or -

    2. The child above could, having never faced charges as a child, face charges for their horrendous childhood offense many years later as a person of adult age (the offender is now of adult age) and be charged in (and be subject to the jurisdiction of) an adult court?
    I meant #1.

    Does age play an important role? For instance, would the level of your surprise go up if the child was no older then eight? Six?
    Yes.

    That is interesting information. I believe Wisconsin no longer has a statute of limitations on 948.02, but I am glad that you brought up statutes of limitations. The concept of a person later in life (now adult age) being charged in (and being subject to the jurisdiction of) an adult court for a childhood offense seems to require the offense to have a long or nonexistent statute of limitations.

    Thank you again, cmre3456.
    I can't predict how a DA would charge or what a court would allow, but I'd be shocked if a then 8 year old was charged as an adult 35 years after a sexual offense. There are lots of things I don't know and haven't seen though.

    What is fairly common is something like this scenario. A fifteen year old goes through a school with an AKM-47 and kills 20 people. He is charged as an adult for various reasons including needing to keep it on his record, the sentence needed to protect the public, and because anyone with a mind capable of that should be held accountable, and whatever else the circumstances dictate.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Court of Jurisdiction for Charges Filed Against an Adult for a Juvenile Offense

    I am beginning to understand. Based on my research and what you have said, cmre3456, it seems there are no clear answers that fit all situations. Is it safe to assume that case histories play a highly important role? Related, I think I remember reading a lot of case histories for my business law class at University to try to figure how cases might be ruled.

    Thank you for your patience, cmre3456. I would like to address one more point.

    Quote Quoting cmre3456
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    I can't predict how a DA would charge or what a court would allow, but I'd be shocked if a then 8 year old was charged as an adult 35 years after a sexual offense. There are lots of things I don't know and haven't seen though.
    That notwithstanding, imagine a court had a chance to consider the sexual offense at the time when the offender was still 8 or 9 years old. As was alluded to in the case of the school shooting, the court would consider things such as if the 8/9 year old offender is likely to commit another offense, needs counseling, has a safe environment to grow up in, etc. But, if the court does not get a chance to consider the case until the offender is 35 years old, the offender is now grown (an adult) and it is too late to make some of those decisions. I guess I am just coming back to the age of the offender at the time of the offense and the time of court consideration on the case as important. Can someone please share some thoughts on this apparent dilemma?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Court of Jurisdiction for Charges Filed Against an Adult for a Juvenile Offense

    I have no idea of any absolute answers to your questions. It's a hypothetical discussion but I don't even know what the offense was. There is a wide range of sexual offenses which can be enhanced by other offenses such as battery.

    Did an 8 year old boy play doctor with a 6 year old girl with her permission, or did he get his dad's gun, scare the crap out of her and repeatedly rape her with an inanimate object? Is there evidence or are there witnesses to her injuries, or is she just now "remembering" that the boy made her do something to him 35 years ago which resulted in more psychological than physical injury?

    I don't know the answers to your questions.

    I wish someone else would weigh in here because I've never seen a case like any of the above, brought decades later.

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