If your child is facing criminal charges, now is the time to contact a Plantation juvenile defense lawyer. Juveniles with a criminal record face many challenges in the future, including at school and in the legal system.
Often, a minor’s criminal convictions are considered as prior offenses if they are ever charged in the future. In addition to the legal ramifications of a conviction, a minor could also face educational and other collateral consequences.
In order to protect your child’s future, you should call a skilled juvenile defense lawyer immediately after their arrest.
Criminal Mischief Charges
One of the most common charges juveniles face is criminal mischief, also referred to as vandalism.
According to the Florida Code Section 806.13, someone who willfully and maliciously causes “injury or damage, by any means, to any real or personal property belonging to another person” has committed criminal mischief.
This broad criminal offense can include graffiti, vandalism, sabotage, defacement, breakage, and other destructive acts according to this same law.
Most criminal mischief charges are misdemeanors, though the severity of the offense depends on the level of amount of the alleged damage to the property involved. If convicted of criminal mischief, a juvenile may face the following penalties if prosecuted in adult court:
- Damage is less than $200: Punishable by 60 days in jail and $500 in fines
- Damage is between $200 and $1,000: Punishable by up to 1 year in jail and $1,000 in fines
- Damage is over $1,000: Punishable by up to 5 years in prison and fines reaching $5,000
However, if the criminal mischief charge only involves graffiti rather than the destruction of property, a convicted juvenile may only have to pay fines and complete community service. A Plantation juvenile defense lawyer can help protect that a minor charged with criminal mischief from more serious penalties.
Driving Under the Influence
Florida law prohibits any driver from operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. State law defines what intoxication actually means; for most drivers, intoxication means they operated a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content level of 0.08% or more.
However, minor drivers (those under the age of 21) are considered impaired in the eyes of the Department of Motor Vehicles if they have a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of just 0.02%.
The penalties for a juvenile DUI conviction for a juvenile conviction are the same as an adult conviction and include a six-month license suspension upon conviction for a first-offence BAC of 0.02%-0.07%. If the juvenile has a BAC of 0.08%, they can receive a one-year license suspension and a $1,000 fine upon conviction if it is a first-offense.
Penalties increase for each subsequent penalties. In many cases, minors convicted of DUI may also face disciplinary action at school. Often, the courts report such conviction to the minor’s school, including colleges and universities.
This means that not only will a minor convicted of a DUI face legal penalties, they could face school suspension or even loss of scholarships.
Juvenile Diversion Programs
Often, Plantation juvenile defense lawyers can help minors facing charges go through a diversion program instead criminal prosecution. These diversion programs require that the minor complete community service and other program requirements.
In exchange for completing such a program, the minor does not have a criminal record and can avoid the serious legal penalties they might otherwise face if convicted.
A Plantation juvenile defense attorney can argue to the court that a diversion program will be better for the minor than criminal prosecution and a possible jail sentence.
How Plantation Juvenile Defense Attorney Can Help
Making mistakes is a natural part of growing up but there are some mistakes that can have life-changing effects. Do not let your child’s mistake ruin their future. To learn how a criminal defense lawyer can help your family, call an experienced Plantation juvenile defense lawyer today.