New York, like most states, makes special provisions for young people who commit crimes. New York State Criminal Procedure Law Section 720 is the Youthful Offender Statute.
In order to be considered for adjudication as a Youthful Offender, commonly referred to as (Y.O.), the offender must have been at least sixteen years old but less than nineteen years old when the alleged crime was committed.
A young person will be eligible for Youthful Offender treatment unless:
a. The youth is a prior felony offender.
b. The youth has been previously granted Youthful Offender treatment.
c. The youth is accused of an A-I or A-II Felony, or other serious violent offenses defined by the statute. In this case the judge may have some discretion in granting Youthful Offender treatment, depending on the alleged crime and any mitigating circumstances that may be present.
Benefits Of A Youthful Offender Adjudication
Receiving a Youthful Offender adjudication can be an important life-changing event for a young person. He or she can begin their lives and careers without the stigma of a criminal conviction following them around. Under New York law, the Youthful Offender adjudication is not a criminal conviction. and therefore cannot serve to disqualify a person from holding public office, gaining public sector employment, or being granted public authority licenses.
Keep in mind, however, that a judge will know about this adjudication if the young person is ever arrested again, and it will disqualify him or her from receiving Youthful Offender treatment ever again.
Remember, nothing contained in this article constitutes legal advice, nor should it be treated as legal advice. Also, laws change constantly, so do your own research or hire an attorney to make sure the laws mentioned here have not changed. You may wish to consult an attorney to evaluate your particular situation.