A child under the age of 18 years old is considered a juvenile in the State of Florida. Juvenile cases are tried in juvenile court, and the determination of guilt is determined by a Judge. There are no juries in Juvenile Court. A Juvenile arrest and conviction is extremely serious and can affect your future in many ways. Contrary to common misconception, a Juvenile Record does not “go away” when you turn 18 years old. Additionally, potential employers are usually able to view juvenile arrests in a background screening. Therefore, the decision to litigate a juvenile case is crucial to your future.
Florida Juvenile Law
If you have been arrested for a crime and you are under the age of 18 years old, you will see a Juvenile Court judge for a Detention Hearing within 24 hours of arrest. The Judge will determine whether or not you will be released from custody, placed on home detention, or be held in a Juvenile Detention Facility for 21 days. You are entitled to have an attorney at this hearing, and the attorneys at McCarty Gonzalez Pavlidis & Whidden, LLC are very experienced in representing juveniles at these hearings.Additionally, the State of Florida can charge a Juvenile as an Adult. The process of being direct filed (commonly mistaken as “Adjudicated”) can happen at an extremely young age of 14 years old for certain crimes. Hillsborough County direct files more juveniles than any county in the State of Florida, therefore it is imperative that you hire an attorney to immediately investigate and review your case. Once a child has been direct filed into Adult Court, they will be booked and potentially held in the Adult Jail to face the charges.