What is the minimum age of criminal responsibility in America? This question has been pondered by parents and law alike.
Under the MACR (minimum age of criminal responsibility) there is a big issue that has long been asked. Truth be told, there is no minimum age wherein a child can be charged as an adult. Circumstances will vary according to the crime committed and the state in which it’s committed.
Typically, 16 is considered the age that most children may be sentenced to an adult penalty for a crime. However, extenuating circumstances may allow for this to happen at younger ages or older ages depending on the child and the situation.
When the child is under the age of 18, the child may be charged as a juvenile or an adult. Those aged 13 or over are all subject to adult penalties for most crimes.
This age is set at the Federal as well as the State level in most states. 33 states have no minimum age set for criminal responsibility. Thus, a child may be subject to the full adult penalties for any crime committed. Once a child charged for crime he/she may no money for bail bond.
While many children are well below the age of responsibility, they may still be held responsible if they break the law. This is written in the Convention on Children’s Rights wherein it calls for a national establishment of a minimum age.
However, as children will vary in development, so will the age wherein a child is capable of understanding the consequences of their behavior. Unfortunately, this doesn’t help in setting an age, and it still varies greatly from one state to another and one situation to another.
When a crime is committed, great care it taken to ensure that anyone under the age of 18 is being charged accordingly.