In Florida the law states that anyone charged with a crime who is under the age of 18 is prosecuted in Juvenile Court. For more serious charges such as violent felonies and murder, the state can prosecute the minor as an adult. At the beginning of most serious juvenile cases, the first battle is in keeping the prosecutor from moving the case to adult court. Once a case is transferred out of the Juvenile Justice system, the accused will be subject to a harsher punishment.
There are no jury trials in Juvenile Court. All proceedings are closed to the public and presided over by a Judge. The goal of the Juvenile Justice system is to “rehabilitate” the juvenile offender. However, the tools used by the courts to accomplish its goal can be rather punitive at times. The minor can be detained in a Juvenile Detention Center pending disposition of the charges, even if the minor is a first time offender. In appropriate cases, the minor may be eligible for certain programs that will ultimately result in dismissal of the charges without imposition of formal probation or commitment to a juvenile correctional facility.
It important to know that there are no “Juvenile Traffic” cases in the State of Florida. Which means that if a minor is charged with a DUI, driving with a license suspended, reckless driving or any other criminal traffic related offense; the minor will be tried outside Juvenile Court.
Juvenile Delinquency cases are stressful and, at times, complicated cases. Thus, the hiring of an experienced and professional attorney is a crucial decision. Here at the Stilianopoulos Law Office we have handled Juvenile cases and know what it takes to provide families with the advice and guidance that is necessary during for the rehabilitation of the child. Call us today and find out how we can help.