No matter a person’s age, if they have been accused of committing a criminal offense, they may face penalties if they are found to have committed a crime. In the event of crimes committed by minors, the situation may be complicated since a conviction could alter their lives even before they reach adulthood.
If your child has been accused of a crime, it is strongly recommended to reach out to one of our knowledgeable criminal Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert for help with building a defense. A Jupiter juvenile defense Lawyer could act as a legal advocate on behalf of your child and fight to potentially reduce or dismiss the charges made against your child. As volunteer Judges in the Youth Court for almost 20 years, we have the knowledge and experience to protect your child from future harm.
Common Crimes Involving Juveniles
Specific criminal acts are crimes no matter the age of the accused individual. Penalties may be slightly different than that of an adult conviction. However, if convicted, minors could still be sentenced to a Juvenile Detention Facility and be subject to probation and/or community service hours. Examples of these criminal offenses may include:
- Assault and battery
- Drug possession
- Driving under the influence
- Sexual assault
- Underage possession of tobacco and alcohol
- Child pornography
Many parents encourage their children to be truthful if the police come to question their child. However, a young person should always take advantage of their constitutional right to remain silent when questioned by the police. Before making any statements to the government or law enforcement, it is imperative to consult with a Jupiter juvenile defense Lawyer as soon as possible following any accusation.
Juvenile Court Proceedings
When a minor is arrested for a crime, they will either be released to a parent or would be taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center (JAC), depending on the allegations. The staff may ask the minor for information regarding their health, parents, age, and schooling. Afterwards, the State would speak with the child’s parents and inform them of the charges made against them. In some cases, the JAC may release the child to the custody of the parents.
A Judge may review the reasoning behind the minor’s incarceration. At this point in the proceedings, an Attorney would represent the child. The Judge would weigh the nature of the charges, the seriousness of the involved act, whether the child has any prior offenses and whether the community would be safe if the juvenile were to be released. A criminal Attorney may also inform the Judge of any mitigating circumstances and argue for the least restrictive form of release possible.
Juvenile Charges as an Adult
According to Florida Statute 985.565, a child who is found to have committed a crime, may be committed to an appropriate program for children outside the adult correctional system, or be placed on juvenile probation. However, if the crime was committed with an intense level of aggression, violence, premeditation, or willful manner, the child could be charged as an adult.
A Judge may also consider any prior convictions the minor may have had in the past. In this case, a Judge may believe that a juvenile punishment would not be as effective as an adult punishment.
Reach out to a Jupiter Juvenile Defense Attorney Today
If your child has been charged with a criminal offense, it is worthwhile to enlist the services of one of our experienced Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert. Failure to do so could expose your child to a different life upon a conviction, leaving them vulnerable to judgment by others, potentially ruining their life at a young age. As a parent, you should feel the need to provide your child with the defense they deserve.
Fortunately, a Jupiter juvenile defense Lawyer may be able to fight on their behalf to reduce the gravity of the charges or have them dismissed altogether. To get started on your case, get in touch with a criminal Attorney today.