Law Firm of Scott T. Moorey

The role of plea bargaining in defending juvenile crimes

Sometimes, teenagers in Florida commit crimes as the result of a dare or peer pressure, without realizing that the potential consequences could adversely affect the rest of their lives. Whether they are involved in underage drinking, drunk driving, or breaking and entering, they are committing juvenile crimes. If caught, they will have to answer for it, though an attorney who has experience in protecting the legal rights of juveniles may be able to limit the damage.

Legal counsel might be able to resolve the case through plea bargaining, and thereby prevent the case from going to trial. The defendant might agree to enter a guilty plea to a lesser charge in exchange for the dismissal of some of the charges and/or a more lenient sentence. Before negotiating a plea agreement, the lawyer will examine the allegations to determine the seriousness of the charges, the available evidence held by the prosecution, and the prospects of a trial ending in a guilty verdict.

Without legal counsel, there will always be the risk of entering into a plea bargain that might only benefit the prosecution. With the overburdened court system, prosecutors are often pushed to offer plea bargains, but careful consideration is crucial. While offers in exchange for guilty pleas might include promises of leniency and dismissed charges, young defendants should exercise caution and have a full understanding of the potential consequences.

Having the support and guidance of an attorney who has experience in defending teenagers who face charges for juvenile crimes in Florida can be an invaluable asset. The lawyer can protect the rights of the defendant, and explain the pros and cons of any offers put on the table. Legal counsel can work toward an outcome with the most positive impact on the youth's future.

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