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Juvenile Offenses

Elsea Law Criminal Defense Juvenile Offenses

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When a child is faced with a criminal accusation, the impact of the addressing the allegation within the justice system can be significant. A child’s exposure to the sights and sounds of a courtroom alone could bring unexpected and unintended consequences.  Possible penalties for a child found delinquent in court include probation or even placement facility or program run by the State of Florida.

Regardless of the crime, having your child charged with a criminal allegation is a jarring experience. Here at the Elsea Law Firm, our experienced Tampa criminal defense attorney are ready to walk you through the process, fight for your child’s rights, and do all we can to not only ensure the best outcome in court, but ensure the best outcome in the life of your child.

Under NO circumstance should you allow your children to be interviewed by law enforcement without consulting with an experienced attorney.

Defense Attorney for Juveniles in Tampa, FL

Accusations against juveniles are extraordinarily serious, and the fallout of these charges can last decades. The Tampa juvenile lawyers in the Elsea Law firm are prepared to not only help you through the process, but aggressively fight to defend the rights and future of your child.

If you or a loved one have been charged with a juvenile crime in the state of Florida, especially in Hillsborough County, contact an experienced juvenile defense attorney today. Call 813-451-8583 today to schedule a free consultation.

What is Juvenile Delinquency?

The term “Juvenile Delinquency” applies to any individual under the age of 18 who has been criminally charged. If an individual charged with a crime is under the age of 18, they will be considered a juvenile and, in most cases, entered into the juvenile justice system.

When the juvenile is formally charged with a crime, they will likely be assessed and processed at a Juvenile Assessment Center. This assessment will determine what happens next:  whether your child is sent home, placed on house-arrest, or even sent to a state-run facility.

In the state of Florida, the circuit courts maintain jurisdiction over juvenile cases. Furthermore, when a juvenile goes to trial, a jury is not available. Instead, if a plea deal cannot be reached and the child takes the case to trial, the result will be determined solely by the presiding judge.

One benefit afforded to juveniles in the state of Florida is the ability to push for a speedy trial, which can occur within 90 days of arrest or the petition being filed.

Common Juvenile Charges in Tampa

Juvenile Civil Citation Program

First-time juvenile offenders charged with a misdemeanor are eligible for a civil citation program. The citation program acts as an alternative to incarceration. This program can include up to 50 hours of community service and may have other requirements, such as drug testing, drug counseling, or even family counseling.

Penalties for Juvenile Crime in Tampa, FL

As mentioned above, first-time juvenile offenders who are charged with less-serious crimes are likely eligible for the civil citation program. However, if the offender does not qualify for the citation program, they will likely have to endure the justice process and may have to go to trial if a plea deal is not reached. Penalties are determined based on the child’s history, as well as the type of crime committed.

In some cases, such as murder, juveniles may be charged as an adult and then be subject to the adult justice system.

When are Juveniles charged as Adults in Florida?

When a juvenile is charged with a particularly egregious crime, such as murder or  kidnapping, the child may be tried in the adult criminal justice system.

When a verdict is reached, or else a plea deal agreed upon, Florida Department of Corrections will submit their sentencing recommendation to the court. In some cases, despite being tried in adult court, a juvenile may be sentenced to the Department of Juvenile Justice, rather than the Florida Department of Corrections prison system.

Juvenile Justice Resources in Florida

Juvenile Court Lawyer in Tampa, Florida

If your child has been accused of a juvenile crime, the juvenile defense attorney here at the Elsea Law Firm put exceptional focus on not only assisting the child in obtaining the best outcome, but also in working with the parents to comfort them and put them at ease throughout the process. Call our firm today for a free consultation.

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