120 S. Olive Ave., Suite 402
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Criminal Charges Against A Teen

criminal-defense-150x77A 14-year-old boy is in the Juvenile Assessment Center after police say he tried killing another teen in a drive-by shooting.

The boy, whose name isn’t being released since he is under the age of 18, is facing charges of discharging from a vehicle, possession of a firearm by a felon and aggravated assault with a firearm.

He will be held in the assessment center while the Palm Beach County State Attorney decides if the boy will be charged as an adult.

The shooting, which took place Wednesday, stemmed from a fight during the previous weekend at the Cinemark movie theatre.

The victim — a 14-year-old boy — told police that the fight started after his cousin’s girlfriend was seen at the movie theater with another teen. At one point a teen threatened another by saying he was going to “put him to sleep,” according to a Boynton Beach Police probable-cause affidavit.

The teen allegedly denied that he has a gun. Police then confronted him with a Facebook picture of him holding a gun, which caused the teen to admit that he lied. Source

If your child has been arrested for crime they face potentially serious consequences creating problems in their adult life. The juvenile justice system is different from the regular criminal justice system, but that does not necessarily mean that it is always more lenient.

Differences Between Juvenile & Adult Court

Minors tried in adult court are usually 13 to 17 years old, according to Just Cause Law Collective.

Although adult and juvenile courts vary from state to state, there are still some important factors that distinguish the two court systems. For instance, juvenile court is for anyone under the age of 18 years old; however, adult court is for anyone over 18 years old — with an exception. A child accused of serious crimes such as murder can be bound over or transferred to adult court.

After a juvenile is arrested and taken into custody, a number of things could happen, including referring the case to the adult court system, depending on the severity of the crime. The juvenile could be formerly detained in a secure detention center for up to twenty one days before their court hearing; once the case is in court, adjudication may be withheld, placing the youth in a community supervision program; or the court may pass judgment, placing the youth in a secure residential commitment facility. If a juvenile is convicted of the offense, it will likely remain on their record unless steps are taken for the sealing or expunction of that record.

In criminal law, a juvenile offender is a person under a certain age who has been charged with a criminal act. Different jurisdictions have varying standards on what age a person must be in order to be tried as a juvenile. Generally, a person under the age of 17 or 18 is considered a juvenile offender. For more serious offenses, like murder or rape, a juvenile may be removed from the juvenile justice system and tried as an adult, depending on the circumstances.

Difference in Constitutional Rights

Adult court provides an individual with greater Constitutional rights than is available in juvenile court. For example, an adult has the right to be tried by a judge or jury of their peers. A minor doesn’t have that right in juvenile court. Instead, a juvenile-court judge decides whether a minor has broken the law and what the punishment is. Another difference between adult and juvenile court systems is bail. In a bail hearing in adult court, a person has the right to request bail or an amount to pay to leave custody. However, a bail hearing doesn’t exist in juvenile court; to leave custody, a minor must prove she isn’t a flight risk or danger to the community, according to Just Cause Law Collective. (source)

The focus of most juvenile criminal court systems is rehabilitating, rather than punishing, a juvenile offender. Usually, all of the parties to the case work collaboratively to form a rehabilitation plan for the offender. This may mean that law enforcement officers, the prosecuting juvenile court attorney, and the juvenile corrections department work with the judge, the defense juvenile law attorney, and the probation department to best formulate a plan to help the juvenile offender. Juveniles often receive extra assistance, which may include counseling, drug rehabilitation, and anger management programs.

A juvenile offender’s rights during a criminal case vary depending on the jurisdiction. Some jurisdictions allow juveniles to have a jury trial while juveniles are tried in front of a judge in other jurisdictions. Court proceedings are typically more relaxed in juvenile cases than in adult cases. If a juvenile offender is found guilty of a crime, he or she may be placed on probation and is often required to perform community service. Alternatively, the offender may be sentenced to time in a juvenile prison, which is typically the case for more serious offences.

Protecting Your Child’s Future

Facing the consequences of a Florida arrest is difficult enough as an adult, it is even more intimidating and confusing for a minor. If your child has been arrested for an offense in Florida, their best chance of freedom is contacting an experienced juvenile defense attorney.

West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney

At the law office of Andrew D. Stine at are committed to providing representation for each and every client, whether juvenile or adult.

Since 1992, the likelihood of an arrest leading to a conviction has generally risen. Although some defendants think that they can “beat the system” on their own, having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side is the best way to prevent becoming another statistic.

If you are accused of a crime, your freedom, your family, your reputation, your immigration status, and your job may be at stake. The outcome you receive in the criminal justice system depends upon the experience and knowledge of the defense attorney you choose to represent you.

When you retain the law firm of Andrew D. Stine, P.A., you do not simply retain a nationally recognized criminal defense lawyer. You retain a criminal defense team who has worked together for years and successfully represented clients in virtually every type of criminal case, including:

  • Weapons Charges
  • Drug crimes, such as drug trafficking and Oxycodone offenses
  • Traffic offenses, such as DUI
  • Violent crimes, such as domestic violence and battery

Contact our law firm to discuss your case in a confidential consultation.

Share this Article

This entry was posted in Juvenile Crime, Palm Beach County News, and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *