Additional Pretransfer Findings Required

Statutes in 30 States expressly require that, before a case may be waived to criminal court, the juvenile court must find probable cause to believe that the juvenile actually committed the alleged offense. In three States, although a probable cause finding is not mandated, the list of factors for the court to consider in making its waiver detemination includes the "prosecutive merit" of the case against the juvenile (see Transfer Criteria). In Maryland and the District of Columbia, on the other hand, the laws specify that, for purposes of the waiver determination, the juvenile’s guilt is to be assumed.

In seven States, in addition to other findings to support a waiver order, the court must determine that the accused juvenile is not a fit subject for treatment in an institution for the mentally ill or the mentally retarded.

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