Juvenile Charges Must Be Taken Seriously, a Future is at Stake
When walking into a juvenile defense strategy, most people don’t realize that juvenile charges are very serious. The way a juvenile defense case is handled can have a serious impact on your child well into adulthood. Schools, employers and even branches of the military will have an interest in your child’s case and how it was resolved.
It is important to know that children have constitutional rights when it comes to defending their criminal cases. All aspects of the case must be examined to determine whether your child has any defenses and/or motions or legal reasons that justify a dismissal. Additionally, it is important for parents to become educated about the various programs that are available to their children and how they can become involved in those programs.
The juvenile defense attorneys at our office are highly trained and experienced trial attorneys who are dedicated to defending the rights of children who have been arrested. Always be prepared and know your rights and the rights of your child. It is crucial to exercise extreme caution through the resolution of a juvenile’s criminal case because of the impact the disposition (sentence) may have on his or her future.
Unfortunately, some juvenile charges may be filed in adult criminal court.
If your child has been arrested or cited by a law enforcement officer whether it was while in school or in the community, it is important to act fast and begin building a juvenile defense case before things get out of hand. The charges may soon be brought to the attention of the prosecuting agency. Our experienced juvenile defense attorneys can become involved early to provide information to the prosecuting agency that may help significantly reduce the charges or help to avoid former prosecution.
Depending on the nature of the contact with law enforcement, your child may be taken into the juvenile assessment center where it will be determined whether it is necessary for the child to be held for a longer period in the juvenile detention center. Your child will have a hearing within 24 hours of being taken into custody. Our juvenile defense attorneys will request for your child to be released from the detention center pending any criminal juvenile prosecution.
Unfortunately, some juvenile charges may be filed in adult criminal court. Our juvenile crime attorneys will make your child’s future our priority. The adult criminal court can be very stressful for a child so we will work hard to prevent this from happening. Our attorneys are experienced in dealing with the juvenile process. Ultimately, it is our goal to avoid the arms of the criminal system for kids and encourage a private resolution. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Powers Sellers & Finkelstein have experience with mental health and behavioral programs that may be available to your child. Getting an experienced attorney involved early in the juvenile process can reduce the impact the experience may have on your child’s future. Call us for a free evaluation at (727) 531-2926 anytime, 24-7!
There are programs available for juvenile offenders.
There are programs available for juvenile offenders. The type of program available depends on the child’s criminal history, the type of offense and the specific needs of the child.
- Juvenile arbitration program – This program is available to first-time offenders who have been arrested for a misdemeanor. If the child successfully completes this program, the charges are dismissed.
- S.T.O.P. (Service and treatment for offender prevention) – This program is available to repeat misdemeanor violators and children charged with third-degree felonies. The program involves specific conditions the juvenile must complete such as counseling, community service, employment and/or required school attendance.
- Juvenile drug court program – This program is available to juveniles with a misdemeanor and/or felony charges whose charges suggest the child is involved with some type of drug use/abuse. Drug treatment and random urine tests are common conditions of this program.
- Teen court – Teen court is a program that targets children who have shown a pattern of criminal behavior. There are two types of teen court programs: Traffic (for traffic offenders) and truancy (for children who have excessive absences from school).
The types of programs may vary from county to county. However, most counties in the state of Florida have some version of the programs discussed above.
Call the juvenile defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Powers Sellers & Finkelstein, PLC today to see how we can help. (727) 531-2926 or 1-855-PSF-Firm. We defend juvenile cases in Pinellas, Pasco, Hillsborough and surrounding counties.