Juveniles who have been charged with crimes – particularly felonies – should have legal representation from the very onset of their case. A felony conviction as a juvenile could result in very serious penalties including incarceration in an adult detention facility.
Generally speaking, most juveniles are not equipped to understand and navigate the complex laws of the Florida court system or juvenile justice system. Consequently, they are susceptible to coercion from adults, including detectives, police officers, and prosecutors, and are not informed of (and do not fully understand) their legal rights.
It is, therefore, essential that juvenile offenders have experienced legal representation throughout their case from an experienced St. Petersburg juvenile defense attorney.
What Happens When Juvenile Offenders “Go-it-alone”?
When juvenile offenders decide to proceed with their case without the assistance of legal counsel, one or more of the following usually results:
- Unnecessary and lengthy pretrial detention period
- Excessive criminal sentences
- Wrongful conviction
- Unnecessary guilty pleas
- Incarceration in facilities that mirror adult detention facilities
- Mandatory sex offender registry, in the case of a felony sex crime
Moreover, when juveniles are convicted of a crime, that conviction can potentially have lifelong consequences. Some of the likely consequences include one or more of the following:
- Suspension or expulsion from school
- Difficulty finding or retaining present and future employment
- Difficulty finding public housing or quality apartment rentals
Benefits of a Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorney
An experienced juvenile criminal defense attorney will be able to advocate for a juvenile defendant and ensure that all of the juvenile’s due process rights are scrupulously guarded. Moreover, an experienced juvenile defense attorney will be able to recommend whether or not to accept a plea deal and may be able to raise certain defenses that could result in an outright dismissal of the pending case.
Contact an Experienced St. Petersburg Juvenile Defense Attorney Today
Juvenile convictions can result in serious penalties and can have lifelong ramifications, including heavy fines and/or jail time in an adult detention center. If you or someone you love has been charged with a crime as a juvenile, you should contact the experienced St. Petersburg juvenile defense attorneys at Khonsari Law Group today at 727-269-5300, or contact us online.