As of several years ago, Florida has been leading the pack in terms of the number of juveniles charged as adults under state law. If your child has been charged with a crime under Florida law, it is essential that you have experienced legal representation.
Adult Versus Juvenile Court – Who Makes the Decision?
Under Florida law, prosecutors have discretion about whether to try a minor as a child or as an adult. In general, the more serious the charge(s), the more likely it is that the minor will be tried as an adult in adult court, as opposed to juvenile court.
In determining whether to try a minor’s criminal case in adult court, as opposed to juvenile court, prosecutors typically look to some of the following factors:
- The minor’s past history of criminal charges and convictions
- The nature and extent of the crimes with which the minor has previously been charged
- The minor’s present age
- Whether the minor currently has any other open or pending cases in the Florida court system
Under the Florida statute, a minor may be charged as an adult when:
- The minor has been charged with a “forcible felony'” and was 16 years of age or older at the time the crime was committed
- The minor stole a vehicle and, while in possession of the vehicle, caused serious bodily harm, injury, or death to another
- The minor was 16 years of age or older at the time of the crime and was charged with murder, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, sexual battery, robbery, burglary, arson, or kidnapping – or was charged with a violent crime having already been adjudicated delinquent for a previous crime
Contact a St. Petersburg, Florida, Criminal Defense Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case
If you or someone you love has been charged with a crime in the State of Florida, our experienced team of juvenile and defense attorneys may be able to assist you with formulating potential legal defenses to your charge(s). To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a St. Petersburg, Florida criminal defense lawyer, please call us at 727-269-5300 or contact us online.