Florida Juvenile Justice System handles crimes committed by juveniles under the age of 18. The process is designed to rehabilitate the youth instead of enforcing punishment due to the youth’s lack of maturity. However, if the charges are serious or if a juvenile is a repeat offender, the State will charge the minor as an adult. Juveniles are housed in the Department of Juvenile Justice. They are entitled to a release hearing within twenty-four hours. If a juvenile is not released, he or she is housed for up 30 days, depending on the risk to society. Typically, juvenile cases are resolved via plea negotiation and result in pretrial diversion program, which will involve letter of apology, community service work, restitution, counseling, or other things, probation, or incarceration.
It is important for the parents to seek legal counsel when dealing with a juvenile delinquency case due to the complex nature of the process. Juvenile judicial system differs from the regular criminal cases and gives the youth a chance for rehabilitation. In addition, juvenile court records can be sealed or expunged. If your child is charged with a crime, please contact Stewart Law Firm for your free consultation to evaluate your child’s case.