Additional Analyses

Transfer for Nonviolent Offenses

Although State laws requiring or allowing the prosecution of juveniles as adults are commonly thought to be legislative responses to increases in juvenile violence, a surprising number of such laws authorize criminal prosecution for nonviolent offenses. Twenty-one States require or allow adult prosecution of juveniles accused of certain property offenses -- most often arson or burglary. Statutes in 19 States authorize or mandate prosecution of juveniles accused of drug offenses in criminal court. Forty-six States allow waiver to criminal court for a range of offenses -- personal and property, violent and nonviolent. If the accused juvenile is of sufficient age, 16 States (Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi, North Dakota, Tennessee, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming) permit waivers for any criminal offense; 17 (Arizona, Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, and Virginia) allow or require adult prosecution for any felony; 6 (Connecticut, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, South Carolina, and Texas) allow or require adult prosecution for any felony of a particular grade; and 9 authorize or mandate adult handling of specified offenses that do not necessarily involve violence, such as escape (Arkansas, Illinois, Michigan, and Oregon), soliciting a minor to join a street gang (Arkansas), "aggravated driving under the influence" (Arizona), auto theft (New Jersey), perjury (Texas) and treason (West Virginia). In addition, many States require or allow prosecution of juveniles as adults for misdemeanors, ordinance violations, and summary statute violations (e.g., fish and game violations).

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Trying Juveniles as Adults in Criminal Court: An Analysis of State Transfer Provisions December 1998