It can be a very difficult time when a child is charged with a juvenile offense. The stress and emotion can be very intense and it may seem like the situation is hopeless. You start worrying about the well-being of your child, your other family, and money. While all these worries may be overwhelming, know you should not have to fight this battle alone. An experienced juvenile defense attorney can help you through this ordeal.
The juvenile justice chapter of the 2018 Florida Statutes (chapter 985) outlines many aspects regarding juvenile proceedings. It begins with a purposes and intent section where it lists a wide array of goals. The first purpose is “to increase public safety by reducing delinquency through effective prevention, intervention, and treatment services that strengthen and reform the lives of children.” This is an important purpose because it shows that the state’s goal is to help the juvenile, not punish them. A juvenile is defined as a person under the age of 18 who is alleged to have committed a violation of the law.
How Florida’s Juvenile Court System Works
Since the goal of Florida’s juvenile court system is to help the juvenile, the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) arrange a conference for the juvenile and their parents or guardian. The DCF will recommend actions to a state attorney, and the attorney will decide whether to file charges or not. If they decide to go forward with the charges, know that your child has most of the rights that adults do, including the right to a juvenile defense attorney.
Most topics associated with criminal defense law are complex and juvenile defense is no different. The only difference with juvenile defense is that it involves your child. It would be in you and your child’s best interests to get the help of an experienced juvenile defense attorney. If you would like to get the legal experience you deserve, please call the Law Office of John R. Vitola today.