Central Florida Juvenile Representation
The lifetime impact of a juvenile charge is significant. Colleges require full disclosure of juvenile convictions and a juvenile record may result in the loss of scholarships and impact your child’s ability to receive financial aid. Juvenile offenders are governed by the same set of laws as adults, and if they break those laws, they can be charged with a crime.
The Juvenile Process
Here is a brief overview of the juvenile justice system in Florida:
- If a minor has an encounter with law enforcement, the youth will be taken into custody.
- While in custody, the youth will be administered a Detention Risk Assessment Instrument, or DRAI, the results of which will determine Whether the juvenile will be detained in a secure or non-secure facility, or at their home. Your child may be detained for up to 21 days awaiting disposition of the matter.
- A judge, not a jury, will hear the matter. If the juvenile is “adjudicated,” this means the judge found your child guilty. The judge may, alternatively, withhold adjudication; “adjudication withheld” is where a judge determines the juvenile committed an unlawful act, but does not formally make the ruling. The most significant difference, however, is that only those juveniles who have been adjudicated are committed to the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.
There are many programs and criteria that may apply to your case that are not discussed above. Moreover, there are some instances in which a juvenile may be charged as an adult. Because the juvenile justice system is structured around rehabilitation, the process is much more tailored to the individual offender, which is why it important to seek out the advice of a knowledgeable juvenile attorney as soon as possible.
Sealing and Expunging Juvenile Records
Criminal records of juveniles may be sealed or expunged, thereby making them inaccessible to the public. To discuss whether your case qualifies for expunction, or a seal, contact the Law Offices of Tad A. Yates.
Mr. Yates is available to speak with you about your son or daughter’s legal matter. Contact our office to schedule a consultation to discuss the case.