When anyone 17 or younger does something wrong, they are most often sent into the juvenile court system. This alternative criminal justice system focuses on rehabilitation before the age of 18 and is often successful.
Those who experience juvenile justice don’t always receive a “slap on the wrist,” but intensive rehabilitation and punishment as ordered by a judge. The exceptions are those who commit “adult” crimes, such as felonies, go into the adult criminal justice system, and are treated the same as an adult.
Unfortunately, juveniles are occasionally charged with a crime they did not commit, either from a police officer’s mistake or a false accusation. Just as an adult would, they need a criminal defense attorney.
What Is Juvenile Crime?
Juveniles are under the age of 18 and are tried as such even if they turn 18 before their hearing. It depends on their age and when they were taken into custody.
Crimes committed by juveniles are handled in civil court, not criminal court, and without a jury. The legal protections, processes, and procedures differ from criminal courts. If a juvenile successfully completes the requirements issued by a judge, these records are destroyed at age 21 (or age 26 if completed at a correctional facility.)
- Sex crimes, such as rape or assault
Are not eligible to have their records sealed or expunged at 21.
Fighting The False Charges
Juvenile court is no less a court of law than criminal courts for adults, and those accused have the right to legal representation.
Even a minor charge committed as a teenager can have lifelong consequences. Because minors do not have the same rights as adults, they are unable to secure private legal representation for themselves. As a parent, your child will depend on you to secure strong legal representation to defend them against false charges.
If someone has falsely accused your teenager of a crime, they can be prosecuted under Florida Statute Section 817.49. This misdemeanor is punishable by up to $1,000 in fines and up to one year in prison. This is also true for someone who gives false information to the police during an investigation.
West Palm Beach Juvenile Crime Attorneys
Even if your child is falsely accused and unjustly charged with a crime, there is no guarantee that they won’t be convicted. Our criminal defense attorneys understand the juvenile courts and can help you navigate the system to defend your child and fight for dismissal.
The police are not concerned with getting justice. We believe that you should consult with a criminal defense attorney anytime you are asked to speak to the police. If you or a loved one has been arrested or accused of a crime, contact the criminal defense team of Farkas & Crowley as soon as possible. Call (561)-444-9529 or contact us online to schedule your consultation.