16-Year-Old West Palm Beach Juvenile Faces Attempted Murder Charges

leifertlaw January 25, 2012 Juvenile

A 16-year-old teen from West Palm Beach now faces attempted murder charges in the attempted murder of an 18-year-old, NBC News is reporting.

Charges of attempted murder in West Palm Beach are very serious crimes that can lead to decades in prison. Being a juvenile charged with this type of crime in West Palm Beach is a terrifying experience.

Our West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyers know that prosecutors have a lot of flexibility when they charge juveniles as adults and what charges they can file. Sometimes, pressure from the top, the news media or the family of the victim can inspire them to trump up charges against a teenager.

Any charges filed against a juvenile are serious — whether the teen faces adult or juvenile charges. But adult charges mean the teenager will be treated the same as a hardened criminal and will face the same penalties.

According to NBC News, local prosecutors have decided to charge a 16-year-old police recently arrested on charges of being involved in a fight with attempted murder. The news station reports that police believe he and two other teens were involved in the shooting, beating and attempted kidnapping of an 18-year-old in Lake Worth.

The 18-year-old managed to get away after being shot three times and stabbed in the chest. The three teens allegedly believed he was responsible for robbing a friend’s house. The 16-year-old, who was recently arrested, was held without bond.

CBS News is reporting that the teen faces charges of attempted murder and kidnapping. The incident happened in December and the victim was discovered by law enforcement after he was pulled over near I-95 by deputies.

This is the fourth arrest in the case, CBS News reports. Two other men and a woman have already been charged in connection with the beating.

Attempted murder in Florida has a specific definition, according to Florida Statutes 782.051. The state has several things it must prove to ensure that a beating is elevated from a battery to an attempted murder.

According to the law, a person who commits a felony, such as a sexual battery, robbery or kidnapping that could have, but doesn’t, kill another person, they can be charged with attempted felony murder, which is a first-degree felony punishable by up to life in prison.

A person could face a second-degree attempted felony murder charge if a person is injured during the attempt of another felony. A second-degree attempted felony murder charge can still be punishable by up to life, or 30 years in prison.

As you can see, these are extremely serious charges that can lead to a life behind bars. For a juvenile, whose life is just beginning, this will essentially end their life after just over a decade on Earth. That’s why they must have the best possible criminal defense representation possible. Every defendant requires this type of dedication in their criminal case, but in many cases, juveniles get caught up in the wrong crowd and don’t see a way out. This leads to felony charges that can haunt them forever.

If you are arrested in Fort Lauderdale or elsewhere in South Florida, contact Leifert & Leifert at 954-523-9600 or 561-988-8000 for a free consultation.

More Blog Entries:

South Florida Teens Charged in Dragging Death of Boy: May 16, 2011
Additional Resources:

Brian Maiale, 16-year-old, to be tried as adult for charges of attempted murder of Julian Thorpe, by Mike Trim, NBC News

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