Lake Mary Juvenile Defense Lawyer

While children under 18 are not subject to prosecution in adult criminal court, that does not mean there are no legal procedures in Florida to address when minors violate state law. If someone not old enough to stand trial in criminal court is charged with a crime, they may instead face consequences through juvenile court. This process can be uniquely difficult to approach in a proactive way if you are not intimately familiar with how these cases should be handled.

Guidance from a knowledgeable Lake Mary juvenile defense lawyer could be vital for any family dealing with juvenile court proceedings. No matter what allegations have been made against your court, a dedicated defense attorney could tirelessly protect their rights and advocate on your family’s behalf for a fair and favorable case resolution. William Umansky is a judge in the Orange County Teen Court program and passionately believes in doing right by Florida’s youth.

What Happens When a Minor in Lake Mary is Arrested?

If a minor resident of Florida is arrested and taken into police custody, they will first be transferred to a Juvenile Assessment Center (JAC), where state authorities will decide on a case-by-case basis whether the minor should remain detained in the short term. If the JAC decides detention is appropriate, they will notify the minor’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s) to arrange for the minor to be transferred to a juvenile detention center operated at the county level.

After a Release

If a minor is released after their arrest, a Department of Juvenile Justice representative and/or the releasing officer will send a Juvenile Notice to Appear with them. This informs the minor’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of the child’s arraignment date and instructs them to ensure their child appears for that hearing. An ensuing juvenile trial will always be overseen solely by a judge with no jury empaneled, no later than 90 days after the minor’s initial arrest in most situations.

Notably, minors are not granted equivalent legal protections in court as those granted to adults, and any minor who commits an offense punishable upon conviction by life imprisonment may be tried and convicted as an adult. A Lake Mary juvenile defense attorney could explain relevant case procedures in more detail during a confidential consultation.

Possible Outcomes to Juvenile Court Proceedings

Based on the specific offense a minor has been accused of, and whether that minor has been found guilty of any criminal behavior in the past, the Juvenile Probation Officer handling their case may recommend a non-judicial resolution like participation in an intervention program. If a case proceeds to trial, either because the JPO determined it was appropriate or because a minor failed to successfully complete an intervention program, more serious sanctions may be applied upon conviction.

A juvenile court judge may simply pass down a judicial warning in less severe cases, place a minor under probation with conditions attached like mandatory community service, or order them to attend non-residential or residential treatment. As a juvenile defense lawyer in Lake Mary could affirm, juvenile detention in Florida is reserved solely for arrested minors who are deemed to be flight risks or otherwise dangerous to themselves or others prior to their trial.

Learn How a Lake Mary Juvenile Defense Attorney Could Help

Effectively defending a minor against criminal allegations can be uniquely complex. Even if your child has no history of criminal behavior, a single guilty finding could have serious repercussions for their future educational and occupational options.

Hiring a capable Lake Mary juvenile defense lawyer could be a key first step towards proactively protecting your entire family’s best interests. Learn more by calling our law firm today.

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