While the state of Florida classifies any crime committed by someone under the age of 18 as a ”juvenile crime,” the five most common are the following:
- Vandalism and graffiti
- Underage drinking
- Assault - usually during a fistfight
- Shoplifting or petty theft
- Joyriding in a motorized vehicle
What Is the Punishment for Juvenile Crimes?
Florida is a state in which juvenile rehabilitation is extremely prominent and encouraged when deciding on these criminal cases. As such, before a court date, the state may choose to act in one of three ways:
- Diversion Program: these are pre-trial intervention programs that aim to keep kids out of the system by remedying the bad behavior. Successful completion of these programs can even lead to the charges being dropped.
- Adult Court: Depending on the severity of the crime, the state or your attorney may decide that adult court is best suited for your case. However, you can still receive juvenile-level punishments if being tried in adult court.
- Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI): In an effort to reduce overcrowding in Florida detention centers, this was established to move low-risk youths into rehabilitation programs.
If the case does go to trial, other forms of punishment that may work in tandem with these alternatives include:
- Paying fines or restitution
- Education courses or alternative schooling
- Community service hours
- Counseling Sessions
However, if the crime committed results in them being tried as an adult, the alternatives mentioned above will not be applied. In this case, the state will allow the prosecuting attorney to motion for an adult criminal trial if the child is over age 14. Florida also upholds a policy in which being tried as an adult once will result in an adult trial for each offense, regardless of the crime committed.
Charged with a Juvenile Crime? Call (305) 330-1360
The law firm of Hager & Schwartz, P.A. has been handling juvenile cases for decades and will work with your family to protect your rights. Contact us to schedule a consultation.