For purposes of New Hampshire criminal law a juvenile is defined as someone who is under 17 years of age. If a defendant is 16 years and 300 days old and commits an offense he will be considered a juvenile and will be dealt with, in most cases, in juvenile court. If a defendant is 17 years and 1 day old when he commits the same offense he will be treated as if he is an adult.
In certain circumstances a juvenile can be certified as an adult and he can be transferred to adult court. RSA 169-B:24 governs the circumstances under which this can occur. Generally speaking this will only happen if the juvenile has been accused of a crime that would be a felony if committed by an adult. Even if that is the case the court will have to make specific findings involving the seriousness of the offense before the case can be transferred to adult court.
If your child has been accused of a crime, he/she might need to be certified, so don’t delay. Contact the lawyers of Cohen & Winters for a free consultation today. We can help.