Has your child been charged with a crime? Are you facing criminal consequences as a juvenile? Florida tries juvenile crimes in separate courts, but sometimes these cases may end up in adult court. Young people make mistakes. Sometimes, they’re serious mistakes. Often, though, they’re harmless mistakes that carry harsh consequences. Some common juvenile crimes include larceny (stealing), “tagging,” illegal purchase of cigarettes or alcohol, violent crimes (assault, robbery), substance abuse, or sexual offenses. Note that juvenile crimes, often misdemeanors, are generally not punished in the same way as adult offenses. The focus of the juvenile justice system is to rehabilitate juvenile offenders.
Convicted juveniles may receive alternative punishments to incarceration in a juvenile detention center, such as community service, educational courses, rehabilitation courses, payments of fines, or other financial penalties assigned at the discretion of the judge.
It is vital for juvenile defendants granted rehabilitative sentences to appreciate their opportunity to change their ways. If a defendant completes their sentence and maintains good behavior in the future, it’s very likely they will qualify to have their criminal record expunged and/or sealed. If they commit another offense in the future, they can face severe penalties, and under Florida law, they may even qualify for prosecution as adults.
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The age of a young person (juvenile) who comes within the jurisdiction of Florida’s juvenile courts is defined by state law. The juvenile court has jurisdiction over offenses allegedly committed prior to a youth’s eighteenth birthday. After they turn eighteen years old, the youth may be charged in adult court.
Florida generally has four ways that juveniles can be prosecuted as adults, Statutory Exclusion, Prosecutorial Discretion, Discretionary Judicial Transfer, and Once an Adult, Always an Adult. The juvenile justice system can be confusing to navigate, especially when there are a variety of alternatives available depending on the situation. If your child has been charged with a crime as a juvenile, reach out to Prya Murad Law, PLLC, for legal guidance. We can help you navigate juvenile court and, in more serious cases, adult court for youths.
In most circumstances, the juvenile court retains jurisdiction over youth until age 19. In special situations, depending on the offense and the reason for commitment, the juvenile court may retain jurisdiction over the youth until they turn 21 years old. If any substantial changes occur in the juvenile’s life, their parent or guardian is typically required to notify the court.
It can be incredibly distressing for any parent to learn their child faces criminal prosecution as an adult. I work specifically on cases that involve not only victims who are minors but also those who are charged as minors. I have specific experience in juvenile criminal defense and can help a parent make a clearer sense of their child’s legal situation and the defensive options available to them.
Legal counsel you can trust is an invaluable asset when you or a loved one is faced with criminal prosecution for any offense. Even a seemingly minor charge can have dramatic repercussions on various aspects of your life, and this is especially true for a juvenile facing criminal charges. The outcome of their case could influence the rest of their life, from limited education and employment opportunities to establishing a criminal record that will restrict various opportunities for years to come.
The right attorney can provide invaluable support and guidance through all the proceedings you face, helping you make the most informed decisions you possibly can, given the stressful nature of this challenging situation. I am a former public defender who knows how the juvenile justice system works. I aim to provide compassionate legal support informed by years of experience as a public defender. While a standard defense attorney might be able to help you come up with a textbook defense strategy, I can help you develop a more unique legal plan based on how I understand Florida’s juvenile justice system works from the inside. You can expect me to provide ongoing compassionate counsel through every stage of your proceedings.
Whatever your case may entail, you can expect full access to the entire scope of my resources and experience. I will help you understand the charges in play, the best defensive options available, and the outcomes of your case that are most likely to occur. Ultimately, no attorney can ever promise their client a certain outcome, but I can ensure devoted professional attention from an experienced Miami juvenile defense attorney through every stage of your case.