Many readers of our criminal defense blog posts in Southwest Florida and elsewhere across the state likely have children. And they were of course kids themselves once.
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.
What is more fun than dressing up for Halloween and trick or treating in Florida or elsewhere? However, along with costumes and candy, it is the time for pranks. While most pranks are done for fun, it might be a good idea to check that the pranks your teenagers plan will not get them arrested and charged with juvenile crimes.
The Orlando Chief of Police recently expressed his displeasure in the actions of a school resource officer. Reportedly, the chief apologized to two 6-year-old children and their parents after the officer arrested and handcuffed the children in two separate incidents. Strangely, there is no minimum age of jurisdiction in Florida, although there are steps to take before arresting children for alleged juvenile crimes.
In Florida, judges are authorized to sentence defendants to community service. In many cases, such court orders are issued for juvenile crimes, especially when the charges involve misdemeanors and delinquency. But what does community service involve?
The parents of a Florida teenager are pressing charges after learning that their daughter planned to pay someone to kill them. The 17-year-old girl was arrested for juvenile crimes and charged with attempted murder. A police affidavit indicates that the teenager planned to pay for the killings with money she allegedly stole from her parents.
The texted threats sent on a group chat recently were the fourth such incidents in Florida within one month. A 16-year-old girl is being held in a facility for those suspected of juvenile crimes. According to the arrest record, a high school student threatened to shoot up a Catholic School where her younger sister goes. Reportedly, she used her sister's phone and did not realize that she sent the text out on a group chat.
The Florida juvenile justice system aims to rehabilitate teens younger than 18 years. The courts work with various other authorities to establish rehabilitation plans instead of punishing perpetrators of juvenile crimes. However, exceptions exist, and prosecutors are allowed to charge minors in adult court under circumstances that involve specific felonies.
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.
Teenagers in Florida can get up to all kinds of mischief during the summer break. Sometimes, what starts as mischief leads to crime, and before long, they face juvenile crimes charges. The accused teens will likely realize the gravity of the situation and seek legal counsel immediately.