In Florida, Youthful Offenders May Get Tried in Adult Court. Find Out How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help


Posted on January 26, 2016 by Jeffrey Feiler

In Florida, Youthful Offenders May Get Tried in Adult Court. Find Out How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help As a Miami criminal lawyer, I have represented on many occasions juveniles (under 18) who have committed serious crimes, such as the burglary of a home. Sometimes, the State will seek to "bind them over" to be prosecuted as an adult. The State may do so at their discretion for kids over 16.

If the family comes to me soon after the arrest, I may be able to convince the State to keep the case in Juvenile Court. Recently the parents of a 16-year-old who was in this predicament came to see me. I spoke with the State Prosecutor who convened a "Staffing" and agreed to Juvenile sanctions not including incarceration. This was a major accomplishment.

If a juvenile or person under 21 years of age is prosecuted in adult court, one tool in a lawyer's arsenal is the Youthful Offender Act. If the Court agrees, the maximum sentence is 6 years and at most 4 years of incarceration. This does not include Life or Capital felonies, but it might change a 15-year prison sentence into 4 years, followed by 2 years of Probation, or even 6 years of supervision.

Prison sentences are served in special prisons for persons under 25. Although this avoids contact with older adult prisoners, it can be a rough place with young bad guys. In rare situations, where the child truly, more appropriately should have been kept in Juvenile Court, I have been able to persuade the adult Court Judge to actually sentence the accused as a Juvenile under Chapter 39. That was an amazing result!

If you know a juvenile in trouble have them call the Jeffrey Feiler Law Firm at (305) 670-7700 to help them.

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