Juvenile Crimes Lawyer for Kissimmee

Juvenile Crimes Lawyer for Kissimmee

Many people consider juvenile crimes to be “harmless” fun. However, these crimes can lead to severe consequences. While some children can be charged as an adult for the most heinous offenses, many are sentenced to mild penalties. No matter the offense, you need to hire an experienced juvenile crimes lawyer for your child’s case.

Florida's Juvenile Classification

Under state law, an individual is considered a juvenile until the age of 17. These offenses are not heard in criminal court but will be tried in Florida’s juvenile justice system. Most of these actions are considered “delinquent acts” instead of criminal offenses. 

 

While the classification is different, there are still strict penalties for these acts. You will want to have a skilled criminal defense lawyer on your side. With the proper legal representation, your child might only face a minor penalty. 

 

Many children do not have the mental, psychological, and emotional capacities to understand the severity of their crimes and the consequences of these actions. Alexander Smith-Johnson understands the complexities of these crimes, and he will help protect your child’s legal rights. 

Kissimmee Juvenile Crimes

In the state of Florida, these juvenile crimes are classified as status offenses or delinquent acts. Like adult offenses, these crimes have degrees of penalties.

 

Status Offenses

Minor crimes in Kissimmee are considered status offenses. Most of these offenses are only applicable to juveniles, such as:

  • Curfew violations: Curfews dictate how long minors can stay in public spaces during certain hours of the night. These laws help to discourage juveniles from engaging in dangerous actions. If a minor violates this law, they might receive a written warning for the first offense. However, with repeated violations, there could be more severe penalties, such as fines and community service.
  • Habitual truancy: Missing school also carries some strict penalties for minors. If the child has missed more than 15 days of school without an excuse, then that is known as truancy. In some cases, the minor will be sentenced to alternative schooling or may need to schedule counseling sessions. Most minors might even need to perform community service. 
  • Alcohol possession: Possession of alcohol by a minor is a misdemeanor, carrying a fine of $500. If the minor continues to violate this law, then repeated offenses could mean jail time. 

Delinquency Offenses

Delinquency offenses are more serious juvenile crimes in the state. If an adult had committed these crimes, the state would try the case in criminal court. These offenses could include:

  • Illegal substance possession: Any juvenile found in possession of illegal drugs or prescription medications will have to attend counseling for drug use. In some cases, the youth could be under house arrest, face detention, or be sentenced to probation. 
  • Theft: Any theft of property or money by a minor leads to a fine. The court may order the offender to pay restitution to the victim. 
  • Harassment: Today, harassment can come in many forms. If a juvenile is convicted of these offenses, the court could punish them with house arrest. In most cases, the minor might have to attend counseling sessions or perform community service. Some schools could suspend the child, and alternative schooling will have to be determined.

Kissimmee's Informal or Formal Actions

In the state of Florida, prosecutors file a formal or informal action against the juvenile. Many of these changes do depend on certain circumstances of the crime.

 

Informal Actions

For many juveniles, they might only face an informal action for their offense. In most cases, the minor is released into the parent’s or guardian’s custody. While some of these crimes go before the judge, most will avoid any type of formal hearing. These crimes are also not part of the individual’s permanent record. Some of the penalties could include community service, fines, counseling, and restitution. 

 

Formal Actions

If the crime was severe, then the minor could face a formal action. Like adult criminal court, the prosecutor enters a formal charge. The juvenile courts will hear the case, and the juvenile must appear before the judge. While many of these cases are heard without a jury, you still want to have proper legal representation for your child. There are several outcomes to these cases, such as:

  • Pleading guilty or no contest to a lesser charge. In many cases, the juvenile is sentenced to probation.
  • The judge may avert the case. Any formal penalties are avoided with community service, restitution, rehabilitation, and community service. 
  • The judge hears arguments about the crime. This process is designed much like a criminal case. Both the prosecutor and defense lawyer present their cases. In some instances, a guilty verdict can be “sustained.”

Juvenile Legal Representation in Kissimmee

If the crime was severe, it could mean a permanent record for your child. A juvenile record can prevent your child from obtaining a job or even school scholarships. Some delinquent acts are minor, but that doesn’t mean you should not take them seriously. 

 

The juvenile justice system in Florida is complicated. Throughout the entire process, you want your child’s rights protected. An experienced criminal defense lawyer ensures the proper defense for your child. In some cases, the charges could be reduced or dropped. 

 

Unfortunately, juveniles do make bad decisions. However, these crimes should not haunt them for the rest of their lives. Your child might be able to seek “alternative forms” of punishment, including:

  • Community service
  • Counseling
  • Rehabilitative programs

Kissimmee’s Skilled Juvenile Crimes Lawyer

If your child has been charged with a juvenile crime, you need to find the proper legal counsel for the case. In some situations, their reputation can be damaged, along with other opportunities limited in the future. These offenses need to be treated with seriousness, and you want an experienced criminal lawyer in Kissimmee to represent your child. 

 

Alexander Smith-Johnson understands the juvenile justice system in Florida. He can help to seek dismissal of the charges or lesser forms of punishment. You want your child to have a skilled representation in the courtroom. Make sure to reach out to Alexander’s Kissimmee office to schedule a consultation for your child’s case.

Let Alex help you!

If you have any questions, call or email Alex today for a free case review/consultation.

Call : (407) 392-1299

asmith-johnson@smithandeulo.com 7 days/week 24 hours