| Upper age of jurisdiction
The upper age of jurisdiction is the oldest age at
which a juvenile court has original jurisdiction over an individual for law-violating behavior.
For the time period covered in this application, the upper age of jurisdiction was 15 in 3 States
(Connecticut, New York, and North Carolina), and 16 in 10 States (Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana,
Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin).
In the remaining 37 States and the District of Columbia, the upper age of jurisdiction was 17.
It must be noted that within most States, there are exceptions in which youth at or below the
State’s upper age of jurisdiction can be placed under the original jurisdiction of the adult
criminal court. For example, in most States, if a youth of a certain age is charged with
an offense from a defined list of "excluded offenses," the case must originate in the adult
criminal court. In addition, in a number of States, the district attorney is given the
discretion of filing certain cases in either the juvenile court or the criminal court.
Therefore, while the upper age of jurisdiction is commonly recognized in all States, there are
numerous exceptions to this age criterion.