Individuals under the age of 18 are classified as juveniles in the Florida court system. However, depending on the severity of the crime, being charged with a criminal offense as a juvenile could still carry harsh and lasting consequences, especially if there is potential for the minor to be charged as an adult.
Whether your child was charged with drug possession or DUI, sexual assault or battery, robbery, assault, or any other criminal offense, they may need a juvenile lawyer. Regardless of what charges they could be facing, skilled criminal defense attorneys could help protect minors against tough prosecutors.
A Boca Raton juvenile defense lawyer who focuses on juvenile defense cases could help you and your child understand your rights, negotiate over consequences of the charges, and argue against a minor being charged as an adult with the goal of preventing far more severe and life-altering consequences.
Consequences for Juvenile Crime Convictions
In the vast majority of offenses committed by minors, the goal of the Prosecutor and the Court is typically to intervene early, attempt to rehabilitate the young person involved, and prevent them from committing more crimes in the future. As such, punishment is frequently not the key focus.
However, juveniles are expected to face consequences for whatever crimes they committed just as adults would be. These penalties may include but are not limited to:
- Community service
- Payment of fines
- Suspension or expulsion from school
- Random drug screenings
- Court-mandated counseling
- Probation and a curfew, or house arrest in certain cases
- Loss of driver’s license
If the parents or guardians of a minor convicted of a crime fail to ensure their child abides by the regulations handed down by the court, or if the child continues to act out in the form of criminal behavior, the minor in question may be placed in foster care or sentenced to time in a juvenile detention facility. A juvenile lawyer could work to prevent such penalties being levied by researching and executing potential legal strategies.
The Legal Procedures for Juvenile Crimes in Boca Raton
Juvenile cases typically start with an adjudicatory hearing. Instead of a jury being present at this hearing, the Judge presiding over the court would determine if the minor in question is to be considered guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
During the same hearing, the Judge could also dictate what comes next for the minor. This may entail enrollment in a diversion program, incarceration in a juvenile detention center, or more minor consequences such as probation and community service.
Whether the offense in question is the child’s first run-in with the law or they have prior arrests and/or convictions—and regardless of the severity of the crime in question—having the support of a juvenile lawyer could be severely advantageous.
Contacting a Boca Raton Juvenile Defense Attorney
When a minor is in the wrong place at the wrong time or makes a mistake in the form of an illegal act, that error should not define their entire future. Furthermore, the parents or guardians of that child should not be saddled with hefty fines and costs of care for the services delivered to the minor in question throughout the legal process if any alternative outcomes are available.
No matter how minor or serious, juvenile criminal convictions can quickly become expensive and stressful and may even alter a child’s ability to secure future employment. Additionally, a conviction could limit their educational opportunities, as many higher learning institutions frown upon criminal records of any sort.
If your child or a child under your guardianship is charged with a criminal offense, arrange a free consultation with a Boca Raton juvenile defense lawyer today. The Leifert & Leifert legal team could explain different legal procedures which may apply to a case and potentially provide representation in court.