Sometimes when children make mistakes, the police get involved.
The State of Florida handles criminal cases involving Juveniles under the age of 18 in a completely separate system under the Florida Unified Family Court umbrella. This special court was set up to protect children and their families from having the case information become public record and to provide specialized treatment and punishment programs for young offenders.
Children must be treated and dealt with differently than adults when it comes to criminal cases. Children often do not know what they are doing and do not have the ability to understand how the choices today can drastically affect the person they will grow up to become.
Juvenile Courts in Florida
Juvenile courts take a much more holistic approach to the criminal justice system than in adult court. In adult court, judges and prosecutors only care about what you did and what punishment they will give you. Juvenile court judges and prosecutors want to know the whole story. They want to know how your child is doing in school and at home. They want to know about the types of people your child is spending time with and they want to know what you are doing to help fix the situation.
Often times we say that the parents are the ones that are punished the worst during the criminal process in juvenile court. Parents or guardians are usually required to bring the child to court appearances and miss time from work. In situations where the Court thinks there is a lack of structure in the home, we have seen parents get lectured by judges who are upset with the way things are run in the home, and even threaten parents with court action if the home is not straightened out.
Contact a Broward County, Miami, and Palm Beach Juvenile Crime Attorney
It is true that Juvenile cases are handled a bit more delicately, this is not to mean that the Juvenile Court system does not have teeth. For child offenders who are not showing that they take the system seriously and are not willing to admit their mistakes, or make better choices Judges routinely sentence Juvenile Offenders to short term and even long term detention facilities depending on the type, nature and circumstances of the charges allegedly committed.
Our goal is to aggressively defend your child and make sure you and your child are treated fairly by the system. We want to make sure that the case will remain Juvenile Court so that the record can continue to be sealed. Many times we are able to resolve Juvenile Criminal Cases with relatively minimal punishment in the form of a Stern Judicial Warning or some form of community service hours.