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Is your child facing juvenile crimes charges?

When parents in Florida learn that their teenage child is arrested and accused of taking part in criminal activities, they will naturally be concerned. They will likely have questions about the law and the proceedings that will follow. They might find comfort in learning that, when the Florida justice system deals with juvenile crimes, the aim is to rehabilitate instead of punish the children. This is a collaboration between juvenile courts, law enforcement, defense attorneys and prosecutors, along with the Florida Department of Children and Families.

These entities collaborate to devise rehabilitation plans that will help children who have had run-ins with the law to learn from their mistakes. The aim with rehabilitation is to help troubled juveniles to rejoin their communities as productive citizens without having to deal with the harm that they might have suffered if they were incarcerated. Upon arrest, juveniles have similar rights to those of adults, but their parents must be advised and allowed to be present during questioning.

This could be a traumatic time for both the juvenile and the parents, especially if the child is held in the county jail, photographed and fingerprinted. They might have questions about whether those records will be public and how long the child may be jailed. Will the child's case be heard in juvenile court, or will he or she be charged as an adult?

These and many other questions are natural concerns for Florida parents when their child is arrested. Fortunately, just like adults, a child will remain innocent in the eyes of the law until, and only if, the prosecution can prove the formal charges beyond a reasonable doubt. It makes sense for parents to secure the services of an attorney who has experience in dealing with cases involving juvenile crimes. A criminal defense attorney can devise a strong defense and work to get charges dropped or reduced while working to protect the immediate and long-term interests of the child.

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