Adult Court Transfer Law and Legal Definition

Adult court transfer is the transfer of juveniles who are at least fourteen years old to regular criminal dockets in geographical area or judicial district courts. It can also be the transfer of a juvenile offender from a juvenile detention center to the state department of correction. Nearly every state in the U.S has laws to prosecute youth as adults. By transfer to adult court, youth are tried as adults in the adult criminal court and held in adult correctional facilities. A hearing is conducted to determine whether a child or youth aged 14 or above charged with a serious criminal offense should be transferred to an adult court and be subject to the same processes and penalties as an adult charged with the same crime. This hearing is called the transfer hearing.

Once a juvenile offender is transferred to an adult court and tried there, s/he faces the same penalties as adults, including the death penalty or life without parole. They will receive little or no education, mental health treatment, or rehabilitative programming. They will get an adult criminal record which may negatively affect their future activities. They are also at risk of rape, assault and death in adult jails and prisons with adult inmates.