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Ohio Juveniles Get Adult Penalties

Ohio Juveniles Get Adult Penalties

Ohio juveniles get adult penalties in juvenile court when they commit serious crimes.  These juveniles are labeled Serious Youthful Offender (SYO), which blends juvenile and adult sentences.  Bindovers to adult court are not included in this article, as those cases involve a hearing to determine if a juvenile should be tried as an adult, and, if so, the juvenile’s case is transferred to adult court.  SYO exists in the world between the typical juvenile proceedings and adult court.

Ohio Juveniles Get Adult Penalties If SYO Factors Apply 

A juvenile’s eligibility for a Serious Youth Offender (SYO) sentence is based upon a number of factors, including:  the age of the child; the degree and type of offense; prior commitment to the Ohio Department of Youth Services (DYS); and use of a firearm.  The child must be at least 10 years old to be given an SYO sentence.    

Ohio Juveniles Have Rights 

Does a juvenile have any additional rights before getting an SYO sentence.  They sure do.  The juvenile has a right to a preliminary hearing to determine if there is probable cause to believe the juvenile committed the offense and is eligible for an SYO sentence, an indictment by a grand jury, bail, an open and speedy trial, and a trial by jury. 

Ohio Juvenile Courts Make The Final Decision On Whether Ohio Juveniles Get Adult Penalties 

Once determined eligible for SYO, does the juvenile court always issue an SYO sentence?  No.  For certain offenses, an SYO sentence is mandatory.  For other offenses, it is discretionary, and the court may decide that the services in the juvenile justice system are sufficient to rehabilitate and punish the juvenile.  An SYO sentence consists of a juvenile sentence, followed by the adult portion of the sentence.  Death or life in prison without parole are not among the adult options available to the juvenile court.  The juvenile portion is served first.  If the juvenile successfully completes the juvenile sentence, the juvenile may not have to serve the adult sentence.  If the juvenile’s actions or commission of other offenses while serving the juvenile portion of the sentence indicate that the juvenile cannot be rehabilitated in the juvenile justice system, the court can order the juvenile to serve the adult portion of the sentence.  The juvenile must be at least 14 years old and served time in DYS.  In the adult sentence, the juvenile is given credit for time served in detention or DYS. 

Other Articles By Attorney Daniel Gigiano 

To learn more, read my other related posts, where I wrote about maximum prison terms for some Ohio crimes, ways to avoid going to jail, credit for time served in Ohio jailchanges to Ohio DUI laws, felony theft in Ohio, Ohio shoplifting laws, and expunging Ohio convictions. 

Attorney Daniel Gigiano.  Experienced.  Aggressive.  Knowledgeable.

Attorney Daniel Gigiano is located in Wadsworth, Medina County, where he practices juvenile law and criminal defense in the courts in Medina County, Summit County, Wayne County and the surrounding counties.  If you have questions about this or other questions you need answered by an experienced juvenile lawyer, or experienced criminal defense lawyer, please call Attorney Daniel Gigiano at 330-336-3330.                  

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