A person under 18 years old is considered a, “child” in the juvenile justice system. Although the state of Florida, like all other states, has a juvenile court system that was specifically created to handle the cases of juveniles who are accused of breaking the law, juveniles don’t always end up in juvenile court.
Under Florida law, prosecutors have the absolute discretion to move any juvenile case to adult court without any input from a judge. The purpose of adult court is simply to punish those who have broken the law, as opposed to juvenile court, in which the goal is to rehabilitate the juvenile offender.
As a result of the prosecutor’s virtually unlimited discretion in this area of the law, the state of Florida sends more juveniles to adult court than in any other state in the country. For this reason, if your child is ever arrested, it is essential that you contact an experienced Miami criminal defense lawyer to help defend your child against any criminal charges and keep him or her out of adult court.
When Your Child Might Face Criminal Charges in Adult Court
As discussed above, a prosecutor has a great deal of discretion in determining whether to file criminal charges against a juvenile in adult court or in juvenile court.
There are other factors, as well as, that help determine whether your child will face charges in adult court, such as age, his or her past criminal offenses, the severity of the crime, and other relevant factors. Additionally, if your child is 14 years of age or older and had previously been adjudicated delinquent for committing, or attempting to commit, one of several serious crimes, then he or she is likely to face charges in adult court. These crimes include:
• Sexual Battery
• Armed Robbery
• Aggravated Assault
There are complex rules about prior adjudications as delinquent for criminal offenses committed by a juvenile and crimes that would be felonies if committed by an adult, in terms of whether your child will end up in adult court.
Due to these complexities, it is essential that you consult with a Florida criminal defense attorney who can assist you in keeping your accused child out of the adult criminal court system and in the juvenile system, where juveniles belong.
Know Your Child’s Rights
In the eyes of the law, children have fewer rights than adults. This means that unless your child invokes his or her right to remain silent and asks for an attorney, law enforcement officers are free to question them about a crime or their actions, even if you aren’t there and don’t even know what is happening.
The procedures followed for a juvenile are different than those that are followed for an adult. Plus, as discussed above, you cannot assume that your child’s case will remain in juvenile court; the prosecutor could just as easily move your child’s case to adult court as keep it in juvenile court.
Furthermore, even if your child’s attorney manages to keep the case in juvenile court, you potentially will have to deal with the results of that criminal case after your child turns 18.
Allow us to handle the stress of your family’s situation by helping you maneuver through the criminal justice system and defending your child’s rights.
Albert Quirantes: Your Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer & DUI Lawyer
For over 30 years, Miami criminal defense attorney Albert M. Quirantes has been aggressively and zealously defending the rights of those accused of felony and misdemeanor crimesthroughout South Florida. With his dedicated team, reasonable legal fees, and a well-earned reputation for challenging prosecutors at every turn, he has protected over 8,000 clients during some of the roughest times of their lives.
Increase your knowledge! If you want to know more about how to resolve the problems you face when charged with a criminal offense in Florida, then you can follow Miami Criminal Attorney Albert M. Quirantes on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.
If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, please call us today at (305) 644-1800 or fill out our online form to arrange for your free, confidential initial consultation.
If you have any questions about this or any other criminal accusation, call Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Albert Quirantes at: (305) 644-1800 or visit our homepage www.CriminalDefendant.com for a direct link to the office or a text message or a map and directions to our office.