Tampa Juvenile Defense Lawyer
It’s a phone call that every parent dreads: your child has been arrested! This experience can be traumatic for child and parent alike, whether it’s your first experience or your fifteenth. Every parent wants the best for their child, including a strong juvenile crime defense lawyer who can protect your child’s rights throughout their encounter with the legal system.
In practice for over 23 years, your attorney is a retired prosecutor-turned-defense attorney who is very experienced in all aspects of the prosecution and defense of juvenile crimes. For years he was a narcotics and DUI prosecutor at the Florida State Attorney’s Office. For decades and counting, he has been representing clients – including juveniles – throughout Tampa, Plant City, and Brandon.
We defend young clients who are charged with a broad range of juvenile crimes, from drug charges and assault and battery to underage drinking, graffiti, kidnapping, DUI, robbery, burglary, assault and battery, car theft, shoplifting, and theft or even murder.
If you or a loved one are the subject of a criminal investigation or have been arrested for a juvenile crime, contact a Tampa criminal defense lawyer to schedule a fully confidential case evaluation. Call 813-933-6807.
Common Questions About Juvenile Crime and Defending an Underage Client FAQ
As a parent, you probably have many questions and concerns surrounding your child’s criminal case. Fortunately, we’ve found that much of this stress can be alleviated by addressing your questions and providing you with a better idea of what to expect moving forward. Let’s take a look at some common questions about juvenile law defense.
Who Handles Juvenile Crime in Florida? What Can I Expect?
[Image: Tampa Juvenile Defense Lawyer] Florida’s Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) oversees the prosecution of juvenile crimes in the Sunshine State. According to the DJJ, “Youth under age 18 taken into custody by law enforcement are screened by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice to determine if they should be detained in a secure detention facility. Detention screening is performed by juvenile probation staff using a standardized Detention Risk Assessment Instrument or DRAI.
The juvenile courts typically address crimes involving underage defendants, and if convicted, the judge may opt to issue anything from a verbal warning to a placement in a juvenile detention facility. In fact, Florida has a total of 21 secure detention facilities with a total of 1302 beds.
“Youth placed in Secure Detention have been assessed as risks to public safety, per the DRAI and must remain in a physically secure detention center while awaiting court proceedings. Youth in custody for minor crimes that are not considered a risk to public safety may be released into the custody of their parents or guardian,” according to the DJJ.
Florida’s juvenile crime division has a number of sentencing options that judges can consider for a case, including:
- probation and community intervention;
- residential services;
- house arrest and electronic monitoring;
- placement with a different guardian or foster family;
- juvenile detention centers;
- counseling and treatment programs.
In some cases, a juvenile crime may be handled using the adult criminal justice system. This can occur in the case of a serious crime, whereby the prosecution decides to prosecute the underage defendant as an adult.
Notably, according to one report, Florida leads the nation when it comes to trying juveniles as adults. This is, in part, attributed to Florida’s “direct file” statute which enables prosecutors to shift a case into the adult courts without the need to get approval from a judge.
If a teen is sentenced to a juvenile detention center, he or she may ultimately serve a blended sentence of sorts, ultimately being transferred to an adult facility to serve out the remainder of the sentence.
How is Juvenile Criminal Defense Different than Adult Criminal Defense?
Florida’s juvenile criminal justice system is quite different from the system used for adults. Some of the main differences surround sentencing, as there are very different guidelines for juveniles, with more of a focus on rehabilitation.
It’s important to have a defense lawyer who is well-versed in juvenile law, particularly for teens who are at risk of having their case transferred into the adult courts. This can result in the same penalties that an adult may face.
Can I Seal My Child’s Juvenile Court Records?
Many parents are concerned that their child will be unable to get a job, attend college or pursue other opportunities due to their juvenile record. But there is a system in place to seal juvenile criminal records.
In serious cases, such as a convicted sex offense or a serious felony, the request to expunge or seal may not be approved by the courts. For most teens, they are able to seal their record once they reach adulthood. Many records are automatically sealed, without the need to petition the courts.
In situations where the records are not sealed automatically, you typically have just one opportunity to petition the courts to seek expunging or sealing of a juvenile record, so it’s important to seek a qualified juvenile crime defense attorney to help with this process.
What does a Tampa juvenile defense attorney do?
Represents juveniles within the juvenile criminal justice system.
Do juvenile charges in Tampa affect your adult life?
Yes, they do, in several ways including adding enhancements to future charges.
What are the potential consequences of conviction in Hillsborough County?
Probation, boot camp, juvenile commitment, an arrange of sanctions such as community service and various programs (drug treatment, anger management).
Hire a Top Juvenile Crime Defense Lawyer to Represent Your Child
[Image: Tampa Juvenile Defense Lawyer] As a parent, you work hard to help your child stay on the right track to adulthood. But on occasion, children do stray, although, with the right intervention, many criminal experiences can serve as a learning opportunity that makes your teen a stronger, better and wiser person.
Whether your child is facing a minor misdemeanor or a serious felony, you need an experienced lawyer who knows what it takes to get results. That’s precisely what you’ll get when you turn to an attorney who spent time working as a prosecutor before going into practice as a defense lawyer. This experience as a prosecutor has given him insight that he can use to maximize your chances of bringing about a favorable conclusion to your child’s case.
To date, your lawyer has handled more than thousands of cases and hundreds of criminal trials, including many juvenile crimes.
Before he was launching his career as an attorney during which he has achieved many legal victories, your attorney was victorious on the racetrack diamond where he was a manager for professional drivers in motorsports winning championships and competing at the highest levels of motorsports. Today, he has retired from racing, but he is well-positioned to be the leader of your defense team.
Your Attorney also believes in providing 24-7 services to his clients, since the legal system runs on a 24-7 schedule. So he provides each client with his personal cell phone number so he can be available to provide assistance whenever the need arises.
If your child has been involved in a juvenile crime, contact an aggressive and strategic Tampa defense lawyer who will work hard to protect your child and his or her interests and their future.
Contact a top Tampa juvenile law attorney today to discuss your case in a free, confidential consultation by calling 813-933-6807.