Any arrest can have serious potential long-term consequences, but this is especially true when the alleged offender is a child. Criminal records can have severe impact when it comes to future academic careers and employment.
Alleged offenders under 18 years of age are considered juveniles under Florida state law. While courts often focus on rehabilitative efforts instead of punishment for most alleged juvenile crimes, certain offenses may result in possible incarceration.Juvenile Offenses Lawyer in Broward County, Florida
If you or your child were under 18 years of age during the commission of an alleged criminal offense in Florida, you will want to seek experienced legal representation as soon as possible. The Hoffman Firm aggressively defends youths all over Broward County, including Pompano Beach, Pembroke Pines, Davie, Lauderhill, Cooper City, and many surrounding communities.
Evan A. Hoffman is a skilled criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale who has experience handling these types of cases on both sides of the aisle as a former Assistant State Attorney for the Broward County State Attorney’s Office. You can have him provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (954) 524-4474 to schedule a completely free, confidential consultation.
Florida Juvenile Offenses Information Center
- What offenses do children are under 18 years of age typically get charged with?
- What kinds of punishments do juveniles face?
- Where can I find more information about juvenile offenses in Broward County?
Common Juvenile Crimes in Florida
Youths can be arrested for the same violations of law as adults. In some cases, laws are age-specific violations (such as possession of alcohol) and other charges may have different applications for minors (a child can be charged with driving under the influence, or DUI, for having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02 or greater as opposed to the 0.08 threshold for adults).
Some of the crimes that alleged offenders under 18 years of age are charged with most frequently include, but are not limited to:
- Criminal Mischief;
- Disorderly Conduct;
- Minor in Possession;
- Possession of Fake ID; and
- Resisting Arrest.
Under Florida Statute § 985.12, a law enforcement officer may issue a juvenile civil citation for certain nonserious delinquent acts such as shoplifting or trespassing. The alleged juvenile offender may agree to perform community service and participate in an intervention program to avoid a criminal record.
Juvenile Penalties in Broward County
The possible consequences of a juvenile offense depend on the severity of the alleged crime. It is important to understand that juvenile cases taken to trial are decided by a single judge rather than a jury.
In most cases, judges in Florida prefer to focus more on rehabilitative measures than punitive ones. When alleged offenses are particularly serious in nature, however, alleged juvenile offenders may have their cases handled in adult courts and can be subject to sentences that possibly include prison and fines.
Depending on the criminal history of an alleged juvenile offender, some of the possible penalties can include:
- Community service;
- Driver’s license suspension;
- Drug treatment;
- House arrest;
- Juvenile detention center sentence;
- Letters of apology;
- Mandatory attendance in self-improvement program;
- Restitution; or
- Teen Court jury duty.
It is important to seek the help of a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible for help ensuring that you or your child can have adjudication withheld or be accepted into a program that can help avoid a criminal record. An attorney can work to help achieve the most favorable possible outcome to your case.
Florida Resources for Juvenile Offenses
Juvenile Assessment Center (JAC) | Broward Sheriff's Office — The JAC is the central receiving and intake facility for all arrested juveniles in Broward County. You can learn more about the Juvenile Assessment Team (JAT) program on this website. You can also find information about the goals of the Community Justice Program.
Juvenile Assessment Center
2600 SW 4th Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Teen Court | Seventeenth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida — Teen Court is a diversion program for cases referred by the State Attorney’s Office and law enforcement agencies that is an alternative to formal juvenile court proceedings. Participants are misdemeanor offenders generally aged 11-17 charged with such offenses as retail theft, possession of alcohol by a person under age 21, possession of marijuana or drug paraphernalia, criminal mischief, or other charges. The Teen Court jury—composed of teen volunteers and former defendants—may sanction defendants with community service, restitution, counseling, drug treatment, letters of apology, or other possible sanctions.
Court Mediation and Arbitration
Broward County Courthouse
201 SE 6th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Were you or your child recently arrested for a criminal offense in Florida? It is in your best interest to immediately contact The Hoffman Firm for help keeping criminal records clean.
Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney Evan A. Hoffman is a former prosecutor who defends alleged juvenile offenders in Deerfield Beach, Sunrise, Dania Beach, Coral Springs, and other nearby areas of Broward County. Call (954) 524-4474 or complete an online contact form today to have our lawyer review your case during a free initial consultation.