Federal juvenile delinquency code
Before prosecuting juvenile delinquent conduct, a thorough
Chapter 403 of Title 18, United States Code (18 U.S.C.A. §§
should be made. This chapter, codified from the Act, applies to
who commits a federal criminal violation prior to his eighteenth
Act applies to illegal aliens as well as to American citizens.
v. Doe, 701 F. 2d 819, 822 (9th Cir. 1983). The United States Attorneys' Manual, Title
provides some guidance on prosecuting those committing acts of
Some terms need to be understood when referring to the Act.
delinquency" means a federal criminal violation committed prior to
eighteenth birthday. "Juvenile" means a person who has not
eighteenth birthday, or for the purpose of proceedings and
disposition under the
Act for an alleged act of juvenile delinquency, one who has not
twenty-first birthday. "Certification"|B250 is the document filed
by the United
States Attorney which confirms to the court that delinquency
federal court are authorized.
A person who commits a crime while aged eighteen or older may
not be tried
under the Act but must be proceeded against as an adult. United
Smith, 675 F. Supp. 307, 312 (E.D.N.C. 1987). A person older
may, in some situations, be proceeded against as an adult for
committing an act
of juvenile delinquency. A defendant who commits an act of
but is not indicted until after he turns twenty-one years of age,
is not entitled
to protection of the Act and must be prosecuted as an adult.
v. Hoo, 825 F. 2d 667, 670 (2d Cir. 1987), cert. denied,
1035, 108 S. Ct. 742, 98 L. Ed. 2d 777 (1988). The defendant may
have a good
objection to an adult charge filed after he turns twenty-one for a
prior act of
juvenile delinquency, if the delay in prosecuting him causes him
prejudice and is an intentional device to gain a tactical
at 671, citing United States v. Marion, 404 U.S. 307,
92 S. Ct.
455, 30 L. Ed. 2d 468 (1971).
The Act imparts considerable prosecutional discretion as to
accused will be tried as an adult even though the criminal conduct
qualifies as an act of juvenile delinquency. United States v.
F. 3d 1202, 1207 (1st Cir.), cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___, 114
S. Ct. 1863,
128 L. Ed. 2d 485 (1994). The government may bring a motion to
juvenile defendant to the district court for prosecution as an
adult if the
juvenile is at least fifteen years of age and the government
alleges that the
juvenile committed certain enumerated transferrable offenses (e.g.,
crimes or controlled substance violations). 18 U.S.C.A. § 5032
1995); Welch, 15 F. 3d at 1208. The government may also
mandatory transfer|B253 of a juvenile offender who has previously
certain crimes. Id.