People under the age of 18 are typically not prosecuted for alleged criminal offenses the same way that adults are. However, being “adjudicated guilty”—the equivalent of a criminal conviction for minors—of any criminal offense can still have a significant impact on a young person’s life. With that in mind, it can be important to be proactive about allegations of juvenile offenses, and that generally begins with seeking help from a legal professional who has helped families like yours in the past.
Your child deserves representation from a capable defense attorney who will enforce their rights and protect their best interests throughout their legal proceedings. Here is a brief overview of how these cases tend to function, what makes them distinct from cases pursued against adult defendants, and what an Avalon Park juvenile defense lawyer could do to help your family.
Florida state law applies equally to both legal adults and minors under the age of 18, so anything that is illegal for an adult to do in Avalon Park is likewise illegal for a minor. Importantly, though, juvenile cases in the state are typically heard within the civil court system rather than the criminal court system. Instead of a jury trial, juveniles almost always receive a trial solely before a judge.
After a minor is arrested on suspicion of breaking the law, they will generally be taken to a Juvenile Assessment Center (JAC); and then, based on the assessment of law enforcement authorities, either released into the custody of their parent(s) or guardian(s) or transferred to a juvenile detention center operated at the county level. If a minor is released from detention after an arrest, they will generally be given a “Juvenile Notice to Appear” telling them when they must return to court for arraignment.
Depending on a minor’s alleged offense(s) and any history of other juvenile offenses, the sanctions passed down upon an adjudication of guilt may range from a written warning or a term of probation to mandatory community service, mandatory payment of restitution, and potentially being ordered into a residential treatment program or juvenile detention. An Avalon Park juvenile defense attorney can provide more specific guidance during a private consultation about what consequences an allegation may lead to.
Juvenile offenses throughout the state of Florida can range from minor ordinance violations to misdemeanors to high-level felonies. Effectively contesting each type of charge requires a unique legal and tactical approach. A qualified legal professional could help build a strong and comprehensive defense against allegations like:
To reiterate, even a single adjudication of guilt for a juvenile offense can have serious repercussions. It is always worth consulting with a juvenile defense lawyer in Avalon Park about how to address these charges.
Dealing with juvenile criminal charges is far from a simple process, and certainly not one you want to try handling by yourself. Fortunately, The Umansky Law Firm offers dedicated legal counsel with a track record of positive results.
A conversation with an Avalon Park juvenile defense lawyer could provide answers to pressing questions and crucial guidance about what steps you should take next. Your child deserves the best representation possible. Call today to schedule a meeting.
Orlando Criminal Lawyer | Defense Attorney | Charged with a Crime