You have legal options if your child faces criminal charges in Orlando, Florida. An Orlando juvenile crime lawyer can step in immediately after an arrest.
When you and your child navigate the justice system in Florida, you will need to know the strategies the police officers and prosecutors use. An experienced juvenile crime lawyer in Orlando can help develop a legal strategy based on the needs of your family.
Facts About the Juvenile Court System in Florida
The juvenile court system in Florida focuses on handling cases involving individuals under the age of majority, which is 18 in Florida. Individuals may also stay in the juvenile court system after they turn 18 if they were accused of a crime when they were 17 years old. Defendants need to understand how to navigate the juvenile court system because the legal procedures for juveniles differ from the procedures for adults.
Legal Procedures in Juvenile Court
Minors accused of a crime in Orlando do not have all the same options as adults. For example, minors cannot hire a lawyer on their own. They require the help of a parent or guardian to secure the assistance of a juvenile crime attorney in Orlando.
Additionally, most juvenile cases go through the civil court system rather than the criminal court system. Due to these differences, many juveniles do not have the right to a trial by jury in their cases. Instead, minors usually face a legal decision by the judge handling their case.
Can Juveniles Be Tried as Adults in Florida?
Minors do not automatically go through the juvenile court system in Orlando. In fact, Florida allows prosecutors to charge some individuals as adults starting at the age of 14. Your child must face specific charges to be treated legally as an adult. These charges include:
- Aggravated assault
- Armed robbery
- Sexual assault
Typically, juveniles over the age of 16 may face charges in the adult court system for any felony accusation. Keep in mind that the adult court system often hands down sentences with far harsher penalties than a juvenile court. If your child is facing a criminal charge, especially a felony, you may want to consult a legal team to help your family avoid these more serious penalties.
To consult with an experienced juvenile crimes lawyer serving Orlando, call 855-780-9986
Common Results of a Conviction in Juvenile Court
While the juvenile court system does not usually hand down penalties as harsh as the adult justice system, a conviction can still have serious repercussions for your child. Some examples of penalties your child may face if convicted include:
- Restitution payments
- Community service
In addition, many juveniles must stay in a detention facility until their trial date. This keeps them away from their home and family. Your legal team will work to protect your child throughout each step of the legal process, especially as your family needs additional support while separated.
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Examples of Common Juvenile Crimes in Orlando
Your child can face several charges in Orlando’s juvenile court system depending on the circumstances of their case. Most lawyers with experience in the juvenile court system in Florida have managed cases involving:
- Drug possession, including possession for sale
- Underage driving or driving under the influence (DUI)
- Robbery or burglary
- Assault and battery
- Theft offenses, including shoplifting
- Trespassing and vandalism
- Disorderly conduct
- Sexual assault
Seeking legal help quickly can help your family feel more confident about addressing these serious charges. Your lawyer’s team can listen to your child’s side of the story and provide professional support regardless of the charges your child faces.
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What Happens Following a Juvenile’s Arrest in Orlando?
You will need to understand how to navigate multiple systems and procedures following a juvenile arrest in Florida. If you are inexperienced with the legal process, it is important that a legal team walk you through each step to handle juvenile charges in Florida. From assessments to formal charges, below are the key aspects you need to know about after a juvenile arrest.
Assessments by a Department of Juvenile Justice Counselor
Generally, police officers will first take juveniles to the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). Once at the DJJ, a counselor conducts an interview with your child and performs a risk assessment. The counselor looks at your child’s current charges and any prior history when completing this assessment. When finished, the counselor can make a recommendation, which determines if your child may be released to your care. In some cases, counselors recommend that juveniles stay in secure detention.
If your child is kept in secure detention, they must appear before a judge within 24 hours. A judge then reviews the counselor’s assessment and decides to either maintain secure detention or release your child into your care.
Formal Decisions Regarding Charges
The State Attorney’s Office is responsible for deciding whether your child will face official charges. They may also file a Petition for Delinquency if they decide to pursue charges. If charges are filed, they must provide your child’s defense attorney with information obtained during discovery, including:
- Police reports
- Victim statements
- Witness statements
Once your lawyer receives this information, they can begin working on a defense for your child. In many cases, your child’s charges can be reduced or dismissed with the right legal team. For this reason, you should choose an experienced team to represent your child in the juvenile court system in Orlando.
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Understanding Florida’s Diversion Programs
Juvenile charges in Orlando do not automatically mean a conviction. Your lawyer can work to resolve the case in the best way possible for your child. In many situations, this option can include focusing on the diversion programs offered by the state.
Diversion programs allow your child to avoid a conviction in exchange for fulfilling certain requirements issued by the court. For example, your child may have to complete:
- Drug treatment
- Community service
In exchange for fulfilling these requirements, the court may set aside or even erase any charges your child faced. However, the court can only do so if your child successfully completes the entirety of the program.
You may want to discuss the best ways to resolve your child’s legal issues. Diversion programs do not work for everyone, but they represent an option that can allow your family to avoid the effects of a conviction.
Speak to a Juvenile Crime Attorney in Orlando Today
Is your child facing charges in juvenile court? If so, you have the option to reach out to a juvenile crimes lawyer in Orlando for immediate assistance. Our team at Bogin, Munns & Munns can provide your child with representation in the juvenile court system while answering your questions and protecting your child’s rights.
Speak to a member of our team today to discuss your child’s situation and provide your family with the legal advice you need.