Has your child been jailed and accused of a crime in Florida? You may be feeling distressed and anxious about what the future may hold. At Frank Schwartz, P.A., I understand that kids make errors, yet their errors should not determine their future.
When you retain legal counsel with our Miami juvenile defense lawyers, we can take swift action to establish a personalized strategy that can help you as well as your child receive a desirable resolution to his/her situation.
As quickly as possible after an arrest, it is crucial that you consult with a Miami juvenile defense attorney from Frank Schwartz, P.A. to ensure that rights of your child are protected.
Handling the Florida Juvenile Justice System
The juvenile justice system’s objective, unlike the adult courts, is to take the juveniles that enter the system and rehabilitate them. Once rehabbed, they can be released into the community as a productive member of society. In some cases of juvenile justice, the system pushes to “make an example” of juveniles in order to push for higher charges at the court level.
What Happens When Your Child Gets Arrested
If your child has been arrested and placed in custody, they could be placed in a detention facility for 20 days or more before a court judgment can be given. After the court judgment is rendered, your child can be then released back into parental custody, given a probationary period, or have to serve a part of their sentence in a juvenile center or residential commitment facility. These centers are similar to adult jail cells.
Our firm deals with juvenile cases in Florida such as:
- Purchasing or consuming alcohol underage
- Driving under the influence
- Drug crimes
- Sex crimes
- Theft crimes
- Probation violations
It can be an uphill battle against the Florida juvenile justice system. It can end up being expensive as well, if you do not have the proper representation by a knowledgeable and experienced Miami juvenile defense attorney. If your child has actually been jailed, or if you have obtained a summons to appear in court, do not be reluctant to hire Frank Schwartz, P.A. right away.
Criminal Process for Juveniles vs. Adults in Florida
In Florida, the juvenile court system places more emphasis on rehabilitation and education than the adult system. Also, because of the age of the defendant, the child's family plays an important role in the process. Additionally, the juvenile court system operates more like a hearing as opposed to a jury system.
This means a judge will preside over the trial and decide the verdict instead of a public panel. Also, in juvenile facilities, there are often more educational and social resources available. Regardless of the circumstances, having zealous representation from a skilled juvenile defense attorney in Miami is essential when dealing with Florida's juvenile court system.
When will a Child be Tried as an Adult in Florida?
In Florida, minors from age 14 can be tried as adults for 21 specific felonies. These charges include homicide, assault, aggravated battery, home-invasion robbery, grand theft auto, and burglary. If the minor is ages 16 or 17 and commits a felony, they may be tried as an adult as well.
There are three ways a juvenile's case may be transferred to adult court; direct file, filing a waiver, and a grand jury indictment. The direct file method is the most common and allows the prosecutors to refer a minor’s case to adult court. By using a waiver the prosecutor or the defendant may file a motion, asking the court to transfer the case to an adult court. Lastly, the state can seek a grand jury indictment If the minor is charged with a crime that carries a death or life imprisonment sentence.
Sealing a Child’s Criminal Record in Florida
Generally in Florida, a person's juvenile criminal record is sealed automatically once they reach the age of 24 if the case was dismissed or the judge issues a Withhold of Adjudication. However, there are instances where the criminal record would not be automatically sealed such as when the juvenile is convicted of another felony as an adult before their 24th birthday.
Representation for Juvenile Criminal Cases in Florida
At Frank Schwartz, P.A., we are happy to supply exceptional representation and are committed to aggressive legal defense for individuals and minors throughout the Miami area that have been jailed and who have been charged with serious criminal activities. When you work with our Miami juvenile defense lawyers, we could take swift action to make sure that a personalized strategy is created for your certain situation.
We are proud to have a successful record and a distinct understanding of the Florida justice system. Our experience includes being a former prosecutor. This alone provides a unique legal advantage when representing our clients. If you have issues or questions regarding your circumstance, do not hesitate to speak to Frank Schwartz, P.A. immediately for individual guidance from a reliable Miami juvenile defense attorney.
Frank Schwartz is a Miami attorney who concentrates his legal practice in the area of criminal defense. Mr. Schwartz is proud to have established a highly successful and effective criminal defense trial practice in South Florida.