Finding out that your child has been arrested for a crime can be a devastating feeling. Those feelings of despair can be magnified by going through the juvenile justice process and awaiting the fate or your child. In order to protect your child’s future, it would be beneficially to hire a dedicated and compassionate Palm Beach County defense attorney who can assistant you and your child through such a gut-wrenching process.
West Palm Beach Juvenile Defense Lawyer
If your child has been arrested for a crime in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Jupiter, Lake Worth, Palm Beach Gardens, Riviera Beach, Royal Palm Beach, Wellington, or anywhere else in the Palm Beach County area, contact Andrew D. Stine, P.A.. Andrew Stine is a devoted defense attorney who will work hard to make sure you and your child are aware of your legal options, and he will assistant you in choosing the one that is best suited for the situation.
To find out more about what Andrew D. Stine, P.A. can do for your child, call 561.880.4300 today and schedule your free consultation.
Juvenile Crime Information Center
- Juvenile Delinquency Process in West Palm Beach
- Sentencing for Juveniles in Florida
- Diversion Programs for Juveniles in Palm Beach County
- Resources for Juvenile Offenders
If an individual who is under the age of 18 is charged with a crime, it is classified as juvenile delinquency. Crimes committed by juveniles are usually processed by the juvenile assessment center in the county the crime was committed in. After the assessment, the juvenile will be released to a parent or guardian and either have his or her charges forwarded to the court, or be referred to a juvenile diversion program. In cases involving serious offenses or a repeat offender, the juvenile may be taken to a Juvenile Detention Center to be detained until his or her first court hearing.
During the assessment, a Juvenile Probation Officer will interview the offender along with their family, in an attempt to develop a satisfactory solution to address the offense. The probation officer will then offer a recommendation to the state attorney on what legal action should be taken. This recommendation usually involves the offender participating in a juvenile diversion program, or being prosecuted as a youth for his or her crime. The state attorney has the power to make the final decision, and in some cases, the juvenile can even stand trial as an adult.
In cases involving adults, the main purpose of the prosecution is to punish the offender for the commission of the crime. For cases involving juveniles, the focus is different. The prosecution is focused on rehabilitating the offender. Therefore, penalties juveniles face are different than the criminal penalties faced by adults. Common penalties for juveniles include probation, incarceration in a juvenile detention center or community control.
Also, if a juvenile is charged with a crime related to drug or alcohol abuse, he or she could have to attend classes or rehabilitation treatment. If a juvenile is arrested for underage DUI, he or she likely would have his or her driver’s license suspended, as well.
In cases where the juvenile is a first time offender and has been charged with a misdemeanor, he or she can face a civil litigation rather than probation or incarceration. The common penalties associated with civil litigation include:
- Monitoring of progress in school
- Apologizing to victims in writing
- Restitution payments
- Submitting to regular drug tests
- Community Service
- Drug or alcohol rehabilitation programs
Every county in Florida is required to have a civil citation program in place. This program was designed to prevent juveniles from becoming repeat offenders by keeping them from behind bars, and rehabilitating them.
If the state prosecutor approves the recommendation made by a probation officer that the juvenile should be allowed to enter a diversion program, and the offender completes the program, his or her charges will be dismissed.
A commonly used diversion program that is intended to rehabilitate juveniles is Teen Court. Teen court is only available to individual who are between the age of 10 and 17, and is a first time misdemeanor offender. In Teen Court, teenagers are trained to act as the prosecutor, defense attorney, and jurors. A judge or attorney is in charge of presiding over the Teen Court proceedings and the parent or guardian of the defendant must sign a contract agreeing to carry out the sanctions handed down by the Teen Court. These sanctions can include, but are not limited to:
- Anger management
- Substance abuse counseling
- Apology to the victim in writing
- Apology to parents or guardians in writing
- Community service
- Jury duty
If the defendant completes all of the sanctions that have been imposed, his or her charges will be adjudicated (settled) with no conviction.
Department of Juvenile Justice: This website provides information and resources to juveniles who have been charged with a crime. The website thoroughly explains the juvenile criminal process.
Florida Department of Children and Families: This agency works to improve the lives of individuals living in Florida. They also provide information on what to do if charged with a crime, as well as information on how to obtain a public defender. The public defender’s office in the area can be located at: 421 3rd Avenue West Palm Beach 33401 Phone: (561) 355-7531
Florida Department of Juvenile Justice: This website informs parents on what to do if their child is arrested, how to have a juvenile’s record sealed or expunged, as well as how to find legal aid for a juvenile.
Fighting for Your Child
If have your child has been charged with a juvenile offense in West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Wellington, Greenacres, Jupiter, Boca Raton, or the surrounding areas, contact Andrew D. Stine, P.A.. Attorney Stine is a dedicated defense attorney who will focus his time and energy on finding a way to help your child avoid any serious penalties.
Andrew Stine is a qualified West Palm Beach drug crime defense attorney with over 10 years of experience defending juveniles. Your first consultation with Andrew D. Stine, P.A. is free, so call 561.880.4300 today and schedule yours.