While children under 18 may be prone to making all sorts of mistakes compared to fully grown adults, that does not mean Florida state law does not apply equally to both kids and grown-ups. If a minor commits a criminal offense here, they can still be arrested, go to trial before a judge, and may face severe sanctions include fines and incarceration upon being adjudicated guilty (which is the juvenile equivalent of being “convicted”).
If your child is facing criminal allegations of any kind, you have help available to you from a capable and compassionate Sanford juvenile defense lawyer. One mistake made in childhood should not completely alter the course of someone’s life. With support from a seasoned defense attorney, you could get representation for your child and help them during this difficult time.
One big difference between juvenile cases and adult criminal cases is that the former is technically a civil case rather than a criminal one. An adjudication of guilt can still lead to sanctions that closely resemble criminal penalties. On that note, minors who are arrested and charged with criminal offenses do not have a right to a jury trial, and instead will always have their cases heard before a judge, typically within 90 days of their arrest in accordance with state law.
Furthermore, minors who are arrested on suspicion of criminal activity may be held in a Juvenile Assessment Center first. Then, they could be placed in a juvenile detention center operated at the county level if the court system determines that would be appropriate for the situation. More often, though, minors are released with a “Juvenile Notice to Appear” that is actually meant for their parent(s) or guardian(s) rather than the minor themselves, since people under 18 cannot retain private legal counsel or represent themselves in court under Florida law. A Sanford juvenile defense attorney could go into further details about the exact procedures involved during a confidential consultation.
First-time juvenile offenders typically receive sanctions intended to rehabilitate rather than punish, ranging from a simple warning to a term of probation, mandatory community service or restitution, or participation in a diversionary or rehabilitation program. However, juveniles deemed to be “delinquent” based on being repeat offenders are much more likely to face harsher consequences, potentially including confinement in a juvenile detention facility.
It is worth noting that minors between the ages of 14 and 18 can be charged and prosecuted as adults for certain types of felony offenses, including but not restricted to:
An experienced juvenile defense lawyer in Sanford could handle both misdemeanor and felony allegations in a way which protects the rights and future prospects of the juvenile.
Juvenile defense works similarly to adult criminal defense in some ways and significantly different in others. If you want to give your child the best chance at a positive case outcome, you should think twice before proceeding without having The Umansky Law Firm on your side. We also represent college students who may have violated their school’s code of conduct.
Assistance from a Sanford juvenile defense lawyer could make a world of difference when it comes to preserving your entire family’s best interests. Learn more by calling us today and requesting a free consultation.
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