If a person commits a crime as a juvenile but the crime is not reported until the person is an adult, can they be tried as an adult?

UPDATED: Jan 30, 2012

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If a person commits a crime as a juvenile but the crime is not reported until the person is an adult, can they be tried as an adult?

So in more detail, my nephew is being accused of committing sexual abuse on 4+ victims when he was a teenager. The details I have are that there were multiple incidents, the worst being touching of the genitles. The age differences ranged between 2 years to 10 years, the youngest victims being 4 or 5 years old. He is now 24 years old and the victims have just come forward with the information. We are being told he may have to serve time for the crime.

Asked on January 30, 2012 under Criminal Law, Utah


Scott Whitbeck / The Whitbeck Law Office

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Whether he can be charged as a juvenile is possible but not likely. Depending on his age (teenager) when the incidents occured he may have been charged as an adult anyway.

Without knowing more facts it sounds as though jail may be likely and whether or not jail is ordered he will probably be a registered sex offender, and again based only on the facts you provided he would probably be clasified a level 1 offender, the highest level.  This is a classification with great cosequences. For example, where ever he lives he will always need to register with local police, he wont be allowed to live within a certain distance of schools and he may not be permitted to be arround children.  

These cases are treated very seriously by prosecutors and pleas are often limited.  The best thing he can do at this point is to retain a criminal defense attorney who is experienced inthis type of case.  If he does not already have an attorney he should not be talking to police or giving any statements.  Also be very careful what you post on line about the facts of allegations in the case.

Depending on the charges and the strength of the cases he may be able to avoid jail and then the issue will be his sex offender staus level (1-3) and the length of probation he may recieve inlieu of jail.

You can reach me for a free initial consultation. Hope this is helpful. This answer is based on the law of New York State, where i am licensed to practice, and may not be applicable in other jurisdictions.


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