Understanding Juvenile Crimes and Punishment: A Guide by Patrick McLain Law

On behalf of Patrick McLain Law | February 28, 2024
Photo of a Police Officer and Male Teen

Anyone who commits a crime while under the age of 18 is subject to Florida’s juvenile justice system. This system differs from the criminal justice system as it puts more focus on rehabilitating juvenile offenders instead of simply doling out punishment.

Youth crimes and penalties may be directed to adult court in certain cases, particularly for repeat offenses or serious crimes. When your child is facing this situation, it is imperative that you seek expert legal representation for juvenile offenders.

Patrick McLain Law is dedicated to providing specialized legal advice on juvenile laws and regulations. We offer top-notch legal services with defense strategies tailored for young defendants. This article serves as a comprehensive guide to understanding juvenile crimes and punishments and how a criminal defense attorney from our firm can provide assistance in navigating the juvenile justice system.

Understanding the Concept of Juvenile Crimes

It is well-documented that most juvenile crimes take place between 10 am and 2 pm and between 2 pm and 6 pm on school days. Juvenile offenders might take advantage of the lack of parental supervision while their parents are at work or act out as a response to other troubles.

The graph below shows the peaks in crime rates for youths, citing that around 24% of all juvenile crimes occur after school lets out for the day.

The most common types of crimes committed by juvenile offenders tend to be drug-related offenses, theft and property crimes, internet and cybercrimes, sexual offenses, and violent offenses.

Legal Consequences for Juvenile Offenders

If your child is facing charges for youth crimes, penalties are provided in different measures. There are pretrial diversion programs that are typically the consequence for first-time juvenile offenders.

Pretrial diversion programs will vary, but each one will require that certain rules and metrics are obeyed and completed. These sanctions usually include community service, being ordered to pay restitution, counseling, and writing a letter of apology to the victim. Upon completion of this program, charges will be dropped. However, if your child does not fulfill the program requirements, the charges will be reactivated and prosecution will be pursued.

Judges typically provide two different kinds of sentences during juvenile trials. One of these options may be probation, in which other rehabilitative measures may include community service, counseling, or a combination of requirements.

The other option is for the judge to commit your child to the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), then they will assign them a level that matches their crime. Low-risk programs may include the option for house arrest and last from 30 to 45 days. There are also moderate-risk programs for 4 to 6 months, high-risk programs of 6 to 9 months, and sentencing to detention in juvenile facilities that could be anywhere from 18 to 36 months.

Steps to Take If Your Child Is Involved in a Juvenile Crime

Some children test their limits, act out in response to problems at home, or hang out with the wrong crowd. Regardless of the reasons why your child is now in this situation, you must get the legal guidance you need.

Patrick McLain Law is here to help with legal representation for minors. We specialize in juvenile crime defense and work to get punishment mitigation and rehabilitation. As advocates for juvenile rights, we will stand by you and your child during this challenging time. Contact our law office today to discuss the juvenile crimes your child is facing and learn about our defense strategies that can help them find their way to a brighter future ahead.

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