Juvenile crimes have some serious consequences for minors. These simple mistakes can haunt the child for many years to come. Minors often face the same criminal charges as adults but may be sentenced to milder penalties.
However, severe crimes committed by a juvenile are tried and sentenced as adult offenses. In Florida, state law classifies an individual as a juvenile up to the age of 17. Juvenile court hears many of these cases, especially those violations concerning criminal law. These minor acts are deemed as “delinquent acts.”
In any case, the minor’s parents should contact a Lakeland defense attorney. With the proper defense, the minor could face minimum penalties. Juvenile crimes are different from their adult counterparts. Minors often do not have the psychological, emotional, and mental understanding of the crime’s seriousness. These defense cases need the help of an experienced lawyer, like Robert Zlatkin.
Status offenses are minor crimes in Lakeland. Many of these charges are only applicable to minors, such as:
Juvenile offenses are known as either status offenses or delinquency offenses in Florida. Depending on the severity of the offense, these crimes have degrees of penalties.
Delinquency offenses are a bit more complicated. Many of these offenses would be heard in criminal court if committed by an adult. Some of these offenses include:
For any case involving a minor, the prosecutors or juvenile court may file either a formal or informal action against the individual. These actions will depend on the severity of the crime.
An informal action only includes a warning for the juvenile. The juvenile is dismissed or released into the parent’s custody. Some cases go before the juvenile courts, but many avoid a formal hearing. These punishments are not part of the minor’s permanent record. Penalties often include restitution, community service, fines, and counseling.
Severe crimes face a formal action. If the prosecutor enters a formal charge, the juvenile court hears the petition. The minor is prosecuted and must appear before the judge. Many of these cases are heard without a jury, but the juvenile may still have an attorney present. Depending on the act, there are several outcomes to these juvenile crimes, including:
Without the right representation, your child could face a permanent mark on their criminal record. Many of these crimes can even prevent them from obtaining scholarships or jobs in the future. If your child participated in a delinquent act, you need the help of a defense attorney in Lakeland.
With the right attorney, your child will be aware of his or her legal rights. You can find the best options for their defense. If the charges cannot be reduced or dropped, an attorney can help ensure the best defense in the case.
Juvenile crimes are offenses of a unique nature. These minors have made bad decisions. However, that should not affect them for the rest of their lives. Your attorney could seek out alternative sentences, including rehabilitative programs, counseling, and community service.
When your child has been accused or charged with a juvenile crime, their reputation is at stake. Some opportunities in the future might be limited with a criminal record. You want to contact an experienced lawyer to fight your child’s rights in Lakeland’s juvenile system.
Robert Zlatkin understands juvenile law and will form a defense for your specific case. He can navigate the complicated juvenile justice system. In turn, your child will benefit from experienced representation. From arraignment to adjudicatory hearings, you want to have a Lakeland defense attorney by your side. Contact Robert Zlatkin to schedule a consultation.