Corey Dunton, who is only 16 years old, is being charged as an adult in the shooting that left two young men, one only 14 years old, injured. Unfortunately, the news reports that the 14-year-old may be paralyzed from the waist down.
In New York, a 16-year-old will be charged as an adult in Criminal Court, and not Family Court. In Family Court, a Juvenile Delinquent faces more lenient sentencing guidelines than in adult Criminal Court. However, even if Corey Dunton was considered a juvenile because of his age, and the case was sent to Family Court, the prosecutors still have the option to send it to adult Criminal Court where he would be charged as a Juvenile Offender. Once a Juvenile is charged with a serious violent felony offense, even if it is a first offense, the case can be sent to adult Criminal Court for the proceedings. In a case like Cory Dunton's, most likely it would have been sent to adult Criminal Court even if he was of juvenile age at the time of the criminal act.
However, pursuant to a recent case, a Judge in Criminal Court, must consider Corey Dunton for YOUTHFUL OFFENDER Status. In New York, if a person less than 19 years old is charged with a crime, the Court can consider, and there is no doubt a CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY will request, Youthful Offender Treatment for the accused. A person who is granted Youthful Offender Treatment by the Court, can only face up to 1 1/3 to 4 years in jail. As an experienced Criminal Lawyer practicing in Queens for over 25 years, I can assure you that most likely will not happen. Instead, an accused charged with serious violent felony crimes will usually face many years in jail if he or she is found guilty after trial.
The charges Corey Dunton is now facing range from a class B violent felony to a class D felony. If convicted of the top charge, Cory Dunton faces a minimum of five to a maximum of 25 years in jail for each attempted murder count, if he is not granted Youthful Offende Treatment. The ASSAULT charge is also a violent felony, with a sentencing range from a minimum of 3 1/2 years to a maximum of 15 years in prison. Once again, this is only if Corey Duncan is not granted Youthful Offender Status, and he either enters a plea of guilty, or is found guilty after trial.
The best solution for young adults to avoid jail time, is to stay clear of involvement in illegal activity. This is no joke. There are many young adults doing serious jail time for things they never intended or had no idea could carry such serious consequences.
I am Luke Scardigno, and I have been practicing Criminal Defense Law in Queens, NY, since 1987. If you have a question, please call for a Free Consultation at (718) 261-5151 or email me at [email protected]