Skip to main content

Can a 15yr. old have trail as an adult?

Albuquerque, NM |

whats a target letter?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. A target letter is a formal letter from the district attorney or prosecutor to the accused stating some of the rights that you have. One right is to appear and testify at the grand jury, although you will be testifying under oath without benefit of any information about the case and what you say can be used against you in the criminal trial. You also have the right not to testify and remain silent. Your attorney can sent a notice as to witnesses you want called before the grand jury and evidence you want presented there.

    A 15 year old can be tried as an adult if the children's court attorney goes through the proper procedures including notice in the children's court case of her intention to do so. If the defendant is found guilty of a serious crime, the judge will excuse the jury and assemble another phase of the case during which he decides whether this particular defendant is amenable to juvenile sanctions or adult sanctions.

    If you have received a target letter, now is a critical time to look for a lawyer to help preserve your constitutional rights.


  2. There are circumstances under which a 15 year old can be tried as an adult. If there are criminal charges pending against you or if you believe that you are under investigation you should contact an attorney right away. S/he will be in the best position to advise and guide you and possibly intercede on your behalf with the prosecution.


  3. It depends on the charges. There are circumstances where a 15 year old can be charged as an adult.

    All answers are for information purposes only. Answering this question or any future questions does not form any attorney-client relationship. Be mindful, that answers are limited by the limited facts presented by the questioner and are not meant to take the place of competent legal advice by an attorney fully informed of all the facts surrounding your case. However, be aware that nothing posted in a public forum such as this can be deemed confidential or privileged communication. For a privileged private consultation, contact me at 212-385-8600 or via my website www.reasonabledoubtny.com


  4. Yes they can. A target letter is telling you that the grand jury will be looking at the case and deciding whether or not to bring charges.

    This is very serious. And you normally have only a few days to act on it. Find an attorney right away or go to the public defender's office.

Criminal defense topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics