Kids get into trouble all the time; for most of us it’s part of growing up. But when the law gets involved, you’ll want the best juvenile justice defense attorney you can find. An experienced juvenile crime lawyer who knows how to navigate Florida’s juvenile justice system is the best way of getting your child through the ordeal without a criminal record.
Courts treat children or young adults under 18 charged with a crime in Florida differently from adults. In the case of an arrested juvenile, according to experts, “successful outcomes are influenced by a family’s ability to retain effective counsel early-on and retain them until a permanent resolution to all aspects of the legal matter is resolved.”
In other words, when your son or daughter is arrested, their best chance of starting out as an adult with a clean record is to hire the best juvenile justice lawyer you can as quickly as possible. Consider the Rivas Law Firm, experienced juvenile courtroom fighters with a passion for justice. Call 407-349-4211 for a free consultation.
What age is considered a juvenile in Florida?
According to Florida Statute 985.03 “’Child’ or ‘juvenile’ or ‘youth’ means any person under the age of 18 or any person who is alleged to have committed a violation of law occurring prior to the time that person reached the age of 18 years.”
What are the most common juvenile crimes in Florida?
Why contact a juvenile crimes defense lawyer in Florida?
There’s a lot at stake when a child or young person gets caught up in the court system. The juvenile justice system is separate from adult courts precisely because children and adolescents should not be held to the same standards and face the same consequences as adults. An experienced juvenile justice defense attorney knows the due process rights and other protections of the law afforded specifically to minors.
This is critical because Florida state attorneys have a lot of discretionary power. Under Florida’s Direct File law, for example, prosecutors – not judges – have the power to bypass the juvenile system. In most states, prosecutors must ask for a court hearing and get a judicial waiver to have a child tried in an adult court. But in Florida, a prosecutor decides whether children aged 14 and above are tried as adults – or even held in adult jails before trial.
Can a Juvenile be Tried as an Adult?
Florida transfers more children to adult court than any other state. And there doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason to their decisions. A recent report states that “judges and defense attorneys throughout the state described direct file decisions as haphazard—’basically arbitrary’ according to one juvenile court judge.” In addition, the crime doesn’t have to be all that serious for a child to be tried as an adult. According to recent studies, “most children tried as adults in Florida are charged with non-violent felony offenses, primarily property and drug crimes, or misdemeanors.”
Best Defenses for Juvenile Crimes in Florida
If your child has been arrested or charged with a crime, the best thing to do is contact an experienced juvenile crime defense attorney as quickly as possible. Early intervention with a seasoned litigator can be crucial.
Your child has a right to be represented by a lawyer at every interaction with police and prosecutors. This includes initial questioning upon arrest, as well as all intake procedures, interviews and interrogations, and all hearings and court appearances. An aggressive defense lawyer will protect your child’s due process rights and challenge the prosecution’s case at every step, investigating the evidence, witness statements, and circumstances of the arrest.
An expert defense attorney will skillfully navigate the juvenile justice system to bring about the best outcome possible for your child. With the proper
representation, your son or daughter should be able to get back on track and start life as an adult with a clean record. To get started, call 407-349-4211 for a free consultation.