Kids on Trial
Big Week! Thursday will find me in the criminal division of the Circuit Court on behalf of a juvenile client. I’ll be arguing a crucial motion in hope of sending the case to Juvenile Court from the current adult criminal prosecution now underway against my young client. Known in Maryland courts as Reverse Waiver and in other jurisdictions as juvenile transfer, the basic concept of such hearing is found in nearly every state of the nation. The question presented in any waiver hearing which the judge must ultimately decide, boils down to this: is the juvenile one who is seen as deserving of the wide range of services and the very different consequences found in the juvenile court disposition, or is the juvenile one who has forfeited the benefit of juvenile jurisdiction and is properly subject to the same criminal prosecution of any adult charged with serious crime.
Perhaps the most critical hearing an underage offender will ever face, questions of Waiver and the life altering consequences the court’s answer to this question will inevitably bring, make for a court hearing like no other! Not the judge, the prosecutor and certainly not defense counsel, ever approach this hearing – Juvenile Waiver – with anything less than careful deliberation, thorough study and extensive input from a body of professional opinion. Much study, work and written evaluation of expert witnesses, all factor into the court’s decision. A busy week ahead but one I’ve been preparing for over the last several months.