Juvenile Crimes Defense Lawyer in Florida
A youth – someone under the age of 17 (although each state defines it differently) – who commits a misdemeanor or felony in Florida is typically charged as a juvenile defendant. Their criminal case is then held in the juvenile justice system. There are exceptions, of course. A youth may be charged as an adult depending on the seriousness of the crime or a juvenile's criminal background. If that happens, the penalties are more severe.
At Rodriguez & Williamson, PLLC, our juvenile attorney in Tampa understands that more so than anyone, juvenile attorney representation will need a strong defense. Their entire futures are at risk, especially in terms of employment and education. If you are a parent, contact us today at 813-320-7500 to schedule a Free – keeping your child's record clean and making sure their futures are not at risk is imperative.
Common Juvenile Crimes in Florida
Juvenile crimes are those committed by someone under the age of majority. The specific age of majority under criminal law varies between states, although it is often 17 years of age.
Generally, juveniles can be charged with the same offenses as adults. Common offenses committed by juveniles include:
- Shoplifting or petty theft
- Violent crimes, such as assault
- Possession of drugs or alcohol
- Sexual offenses
The main difference between the two systems is the sentencing options available to the court. The juvenile justice system emphasizes rehabilitation. It offers alternative sentencing options such as counseling or education programs and sends defendants to a juvenile detention center rather than a jail or prison.
Juvenile Attorney needed Because Juveniles Can Be Tried as Adults in Florida
When a juvenile defendant commits a crime, they are usually then tried as a juvenile. In certain circumstances, however, their case can be transferred to the adult system.
The specific criteria for this vary between states. Relevant factors may include:
- The type and extent of the offense
- The seriousness of the allegations
- Any aggravating circumstances (for example, the use of a weapon)
- Whether the defendant understood the criminality of their conduct
- Whether the defendant is a repeat offender
The decision to transfer a juvenile attorney case to the adult system can be made automatically as a result of the relevant legislation or at the discretion of the prosecution or judge. And once a juvenile defendant has been tried as an adult, any future charges will also be dealt with in the adult system.
When a juvenile case is dealt with in the adult system, the defendant is exposed to harsher penalties usually reserved for adults. It also excludes them from other sentencing options, such as counseling or education programs offered to juvenile offenders.
Collateral Consequences of a Conviction in Tampa for a Juvenile Offense
In addition to the penalty imposed by a court, there can also be collateral consequences for defendants convicted of juvenile offenses.
A criminal conviction can disrupt a defendant's schooling, especially if they serve time in juvenile detention. A conviction can also affect their access to education more generally. Some schools may not accept students with a criminal record and many colleges ask applicants to disclose any juvenile convictions.
While many people believe juvenile criminal records “disappear” once someone becomes an adult, this isn't the case in many states. For example, potential employers and landlords often have access to juvenile records when running background checks. The armed forces also require applicants to disclose any juvenile convictions.
Law enforcement and courts may also access juvenile records when dealing with an adult offender, which can increase both the category of offense they are charged with and the severity of their sentence.
Convictions for certain offenses as a juvenile may also require a defendant to register as a sex offender or restrict them from owning a firearm well into adulthood.
Your Rights for Juvenile Arrests in Florida
Both minors and their parents or legal guardians have rights when a minor is arrested Florida or is asked questions as a witness in a criminal matter. Parents and legal guardians also have rights. When a right is violated, this violation can be used as part of your defense strategy. This is in part why it is critical to speak to a juvenile defense lawyer in Tampa as soon as possible.
Your Child Has Rights - Hire a Juvenile Attorney
The U.S. Constitution as well as most state constitutions outline certain rights for each person, whether a juvenile or an adult. These rights include but are not necessarily limited to:
- The right to be free from any unreasonable search and seizure
- The right against self-incrimination
- The right to refuse any questioning
- The right to an attorney during police questioning
Further, when a minor is detained or arrested, the police typically have an obligation to contact a parent or legal guardian, or at least make a reasonable attempt to do so.
Parents Have Rights - Hire a Juvenile Attorney
As a parent or legal guardian, you have rights in cases where your child has been arrested or detained by the police. Three such rights include:
- The right to be present with your child during questioning
- The right to know the reason your child was arrested or detained
- The right to have or retain an attorney for your child
As a parent or guardian, it is always in your child's best interest to remain calm. You can request to see your child at any time while the child is in police custody.
Contact a Juvenile Attorney in Tampa Today
We know that as a parent – and for that matter as a minor – you will have many questions and even more worries and fears during a criminal case. At Rodriguez & Williamson, PLLC, our juvenile defense lawyer will sit down with you to explain everything you need to know and keep you informed during the process.
If your child is facing criminal charges as a juvenile, get expert legal counsel to ensure they are treated fairly through the criminal system. Any mistakes could have long-lasting impacts on your child's life. Call 813-320-7500 to schedule a Free with our juvenile attorney at Rodriguez & Williamson, PLLC today.
When a youth commits a crime in Florida, whether a misdemeanor or a felony, they are typically charged as a juvenile defendant. A youth is defined as anyone under 17 (although each state defines it differently). After that, the juvenile justice system takes care of their legal proceeding. There are, without a doubt, some notable exemptions. A juvenile can be charged as an adult, depending on the severity of the crime or the juvenile's previous record of criminal behavior. Should this occur, the consequences will be even more severe.
Our Tampa juvenile defense attorney at Rodriguez & Williamson, PLLC, is aware that juvenile attorney, more than anyone else, require a robust defense. This is something that our firm understands. Due to this, their entire futures, especially employment and education are in jeopardy. You must contact us as soon as possible at 813-320-7500 to schedule a free consultation if you are the parent of a child. It is important to keep your child's record clean and ensure their future is not jeopardized.
Common Juvenile Crimes in Florida
Persons under the age of majority who commit crimes are considered to have committed juvenile offenses. Although the age of majority in terms of criminal law varies from state to state, the normative age of majority is 17 years old.
In most cases, juveniles can face the same charges as adults for the same offenses. The following are examples of offenses that are frequently committed by juveniles:
- Theft from stores or other acts of petty theft
- crimes of violence, such as assaults and robberies
- Possession of alcoholic beverages or illicit drugs
- Sexual transgressions
The sentencing choices that are open to the judge are the primary area of distinction between the two systems. The emphasis is placed on rehabilitation within the juvenile justice system. It provides defendants with alternative sentencing options such as counseling or education programs. Rather than sending them to jail or prison, it places them in a juvenile detention center instead of a jail or prison.
In the state of Florida, juveniles can be tried as adults.
Juvenile defendants are typically tried in the juvenile justice system when they are accused of committing a crime. However, depending on the situation's specifics, their case might be moved to the adult justice system.
The particular requirements for this are different in each state. Some of the relevant factors could be:
- The nature and degree of the crime committed.
- The gravity of the accusations against them
- Any factors that make the situation worse (for example, the use of a weapon)
- The question of whether or not the defendant was aware of the illegal nature of their behavior.
- How many times has the defendant been arrested for the same crime?
The choice to move a case from the juvenile justice system to the adult justice system may be made involuntarily due to the applicable legislation, or it may be made voluntarily at the discretion of the prosecutor or the judge. Furthermore, once a juvenile defendant has been tried as an adult, any additional charges brought against them will also be processed through the adult justice system.
When a juvenile case is handled in the adult system, the accused person is subject to more severe punishments, typically reserved for adults. Additionally, it prevents them from participating in other sentencing options, such as therapy or education programs designed for juvenile offenders.
Additional Repercussions of Being Found Guilty of a Juvenile Offense in the City of Tampa
In addition to the punishment handed down by the court, defendants found guilty of juvenile offenses may also face additional consequences as a result of the conviction.
Defendants can have their education derailed as a result of their conviction, notably if they are sentenced to time in juvenile detention. A conviction may also make it more difficult for them to enroll in school or continue their education. Some educational institutions do not admit students with a criminal history, and many colleges require applicants to disclose whether or not they were convicted of a crime while they were a minor.
There is a widespread misconception that a person's juvenile criminal record "disappears" once they reach the age of majority; however, this is not the case in many states. For instance, prospective employers and landlords frequently have access to adolescent court records when conducting background checks. Disclosure of convictions received while the applicant was a minor is another requirement for joining the armed forces.
Law enforcement and the courts may also access their juvenile records when dealing with adult offenders. This has the potential to increase the crime category that the offender is charged with and the severity of the sentence they receive.
Convictions for particular offenses committed as a juvenile may require the defendant to register as a sex offender or prevent them from owning a firearm well into adulthood. These requirements may apply even if the defendant has since turned 18.
Your Rights Regarding the Arrest of a Minor in the State of Florida
When a minor in Florida is arrested or questioned as a witness in a criminal case, the minor and the minor's parents or legal guardians are entitled to certain rights. Hire a Juvenile Attorney In addition, parents and legal guardians have the right to protect. When your rights are violated, you can use those transgressions as part of your defense strategy. This is one of the many reasons why getting in touch with a Tampa juvenile defense attorney as soon as possible is essential.
Your Child Is Entitled To Rights
Whether a person is a minor or an adult, the United States Constitution and the constitutions of the majority of states detail certain rights for each individual. These rights may include, but are not restricted to, the following items:
- The right not to be subjected to arbitrary search or seizure.
- The protection of one's right not to self-incriminate
- the ability to refuse to answer any questions at all
- The right to be represented by a lawyer during questioning by the police
In addition, whenever a person under 18 is taken into custody or arrested, the authorities are typically obligated to contact a parent or other legal guardian of the child or, at the very least, make a reasonable faith effort to do so.
Parents' Rights Must Be Respected
If the police have arrested or detained your child, you are entitled to certain rights under the law as the child's parent or legal guardian. The following are examples of such rights:
- The right to be present during questioning of your child together with them.
- The right to be informed of the circumstances surrounding your child's arrest or detention.
- The ability to hire or consult with an attorney on behalf of one's child
It is always in your child's best interest, whether you are a parent or a guardian, to maintain your composure. You have the right to make a visitation request at any time while your child is in the custody of the police.
Get in Touch With a Tampa Juvenile Defense Lawyer Right This Minute
During the course of a criminal case, we are aware that you, as a parent and, if applicable, as a minor, will have a significant number of questions, as well as an even greater number of worries and fears. Our juvenile defense attorney at Rodriguez & Williamson, PLLC, will sit down with you and explain everything you need to know, and they will keep you informed as the process progresses.
If your child is a juvenile and is facing criminal charges, you should seek the advice of an experienced attorney to ensure that they are treated fairly by the legal system as they go through the process. Any blunder that you make could have severe repercussions for the rest of your child's life. Just call Rodriguez & Williamson, PLLC, at (813-320-7500) to schedule a free consultation with our juvenile defense attorney immediately.
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