Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorney
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Kindergartner brings gun to school, injures self and two other students

Last week, a kindergartner in Houston, Texas brought a loaded firearm to school.  At lunch, the gun fell out of the child's pocket and accidentally discharged.  The child who brought the firearm to school was injured, as were two of his classmates. Fortunately, no one was critically injured.  However, the incident raises an important question:  When a young child brings a gun to school or commits another offense, can he/she be charged with a crime? 

Answer:  

No one under the age of eight (8) can be charged with a juvenile (or "delinquent") offense in Nevada state court.  Between the ages of eight (8) and fourteen (14), courts presume that a child does not have the intent necessary to commit a delinquent offense.  If charges are brought against a child who is between eight (8) and fourteen (14), the prosecutor must show by clear evidence that the child knew the wrongfulness of his/her conduct at the time the offense was committed

In some circumstances, juvenile offenses can be transferred to adult court.  In other cases, adjudications can have life-long consequences.  Specifically, adjudications for juvenile sexual offenses, firearm offenses and violent crimes can affect your child well into adulthood.  If your child is charged with a criminal or delinquent offense, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced and knowledgeable juvenile crimes lawyer as soon as possible.