Minor and DUI when will I be charged as an adult?Recently on our DUI forum a user asked, If I was 17 when I was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and my blood alcohol concentration was well above the legal limit, will I be tried as an adult or will I be tried as a minor? Also, in the State of California, what charges can I expect? This is my first offense.
When is a minor tried as an adult in California?In most cases, when a minor is charged with committing a crime in the State of California they will be tried within the juvenile court system. Under some conditions, however, the law allows the minors case to be moved to an adult criminal court. Before this can happen, however, a fitness hearing must be held. A fitness hearing is the legal proceeding which allows the court to review the criminal actions and determine whether the minor is likely to benefit from the rehabilitative services of juvenile delinquency court. Whether or not the prosecution will request a fitness hearing will depend on the following:
- Is the minor at least 16 years of age and have they potentially committed a crime?
- Is the minor at least 16 years of age and have they previously committed a felony where the minor has previously been made a ward of the court and found to have committed two or more felony offenses while over the age of 14 (in which case the minor is presumed to be unfit for juvenile court)?
- Is the minor over the age of 14 and is alleged to have committed an offense specified in W&I Code 707(b) (in which case the minor is presumed to be unfit for juvenile court)?