It can be terrifying when your child or teenager is accused of criminal conduct, but you still have choices. This kind of situation can be an intervention of sorts, and help correct their path, or it can pull them farther down the road of self-destruction, toward incarceration. We feel that everyone who has made a mistake deserves a true second chance. If your child is arrested, we can help minimize her exposure to the judicial system, giving her the opportunity she needs to fix her mistakes.
Youths under the age of 17 are sometimes charged with the same misdemeanors and felonies as adults, but they can also face additional age-based charges, such as being in possession of alcohol. Juveniles don’t have as many rights as adults in the court system.
It is a serious matter to be convicted of a juvenile crime, and it can have a lasting negative effect on your child’s future employment and scholarship opportunities, and even whether he can get a driver's license.
Common juvenile crimes include:
Potential punishments/sentences in the Florida juvenile court system:
Your child has the right to an attorney at every stage of any juvenile court proceeding. If you are financially able, you must provide an attorney. If not, the court may appoint one to represent your child.
Under Florida law, you may also be liable for acts committed by your child. Juvenile court can order you to pay restitution to the victim, up to $2,500, every time your child is involved in criminal activity. Florida law also allows victims to sue you, outside of juvenile court, for any damages your child committed.
A competent juvenile defense attorney can work with you to find counseling programs that address the cause of your child's criminal activities, which helps make a stronger defense in court. Hiring the right attorney to protect your child's rights is probably the best decision you can make in this trying time.
In some instances of violent crime, your child may be certified to stand trial as an adult. In any case, you will need an attorney who is an expert at defending juvenile clients in all of these situations. For help with your child’s case, please call 772-288-1880.