Over the last decade there has been an increase in the number of children facing criminal charges. In Florida, children under the age of 18 are considered juveniles. If a child is arrested for a crime and is under 18 years of age, that child can face criminal charges in juvenile court. However, for certain serious crimes, charges can be brought against a child in adult court.
The Law Offices of Richard Tendler knows how difficult and upsetting juvenile cases are and how high the stakes are for these young lives. I have over 15 years of criminal experience, including practice handling hundreds of juvenile cases, in and out of adult court. Call my firm to speak to a dedicated West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney today!
Florida Statute Section 985.227 gives the State Attorney's Office the discretion to file charges against a child in adult court rather than juvenile court depending on the crime and the child's age. As of 2014, Florida has tried children as adults more often than any other state in the country. In adult court, a child will face the same penalties that an adult would face. Even in this case, the child can also receive juvenile sanctions rather than adult sanctions. Nevertheless, a juvenile is in an extremely precarious position when facing adult charges and penalties.
Juveniles can be tried in adult court if they are at least 16 and:
There are many qualifying details of the Florida laws that govern juvenile eligibility in adult court. In some circumstances, children as young as 14 can be tried as adults if they facing other charges. For more detailed information on your or your child's eligibility for an adult trial, you need to call my firm as soon as possible.
Even if a child is charged in juvenile court and avoids adult court, there are potential long-term consequences for the child. Although records in juvenile court are not available to the general public, certain government agencies along with schools or employers may request copies of the records. For this reason, parents must do everything possible to hire an experienced West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer who knows and understands the juvenile system.
As a seasoned lawyer, I spent two years working in the juvenile division of the Public Defender's Office. While there and in private practice, I have been successful in my representation of hundreds of children charged in juvenile court and adult court. I know how this process works and how particularly unforgiving it can be to young offenders. My firm has the experience to provide the aggressive, incisive representation you or your child needs to resolve your case and put these charges behind you.