Mandatory Minimums in Juvenile Cases
Do mandatory minimums apply in juvenile cases in Pennsylvania?
In the standard juvenile case, mandatory minimums do not apply. However, when a juvenile is tried as an adult, all mandatory minimums apply except for murder cases.
If a juvenile's case is a direct file juvenile (DFJ), meaning the Commonwealth filed the charges against the juvenile as an adult, or when a case is certified from juvenile court to adult court, the juvenile is treated the same as all adult defendants so all mandatory sentences apply.
In murder cases, murder 1 and murder 2 both have mandatory life sentences. The Supreme Court of United States recently ruled that juvenile life without parole (JLWOP) is unconstitutional, so those mandatories do not apply. However, there are other mandatories that apply to juvenile murder cases, just not life without parole.
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