If your child has been arrested for a sex crime under the Florida statute, it is imperative that you hire an experienced attorney right away to protect your child’s rights! The law offices of Finebloom & Haenel are ready and willing to provide this legal protection for your child.
When a child is arrested for a sex crime under the law, the case travels through the juvenile justice system. The charge itself is the exact same as it would be for an adult, but the manner in which it is handled is different.
When a child is arrested for a sex crime, they are taken for an intake assessment at the Department of Juvenile Justice (Also called “DJJ”). DJJ has officers on staff that evaluate the child to determine:
- The severity of the crime
- If the crime was the child’s first
- Support systems in place for the child (such as does he have a parent or guardian willing to take care of them)
- The risk the child poses if released
The assessment results are listed in a scoresheet that is provided to the court.
If the assessment shows that the child should be released to “home detention” the child is released. Home detention is basically like house arrest for adults. But there must be a parent or guardian willing to take responsibility for the child. This is difficult if the accusation is that your child committed a sexual crime with another child member of your household.
If the assessment shows that the child should not be released, the child is taken to “secure detention.” This is the equivalent of adult jail. However, all of the people detained are children.
A juvenile case is usually resolved in 21 days unless the child or the attorney asks for an extension. So a child’s arraignment date is usually held within a week. At that point the child can plea guilty or not guilty.
If they plea guilty the case goes to “disposition.” Which is the term used for the juvenile’s sentencing hearing.
If they plea “not-guilty” the case goes to an “adjudicatory hearing.” This is the term used for a trial. However, juveniles are not entitled to a jury trial. All cases are heard in front of a judge.
If the child either pleas guilty to the charge, or if they are found to be guilty of the charge the case goes to the next phase which is the disposition hearing. This is the sentencing phase. Again, a scoresheet is used. The child can either be adjudicated delinquent or have delinquency withheld.
Then, depending on the recommendation from DJJ, the child will either be sentenced to a diversion program (such as teen court), placed on probation, or sent to a residential program. Residential programs have different levels of strictness to meet the needs of the child.
Children who are adjudicated delinquent of sex crimes are forced to register just like adults for the rest of their life! Also, if the prosecutor feels that the crime is serious enough, and the child is over the age of 16, the State can charge your child as an adult for the alleged crime!
One of the most popular “sex crimes” that can be a danger for your child is “sexting.” This is when your minor child sends a naked or provocative picture of themselves over a cell phone message. THIS IS A CRIME!! It is also a crime if the person who receives the photo forwards it to a friend. This particular scenario can even lead to Federal Charges.
DO NOT LET YOUR CHILD BE LABELED FOR LIFE!! Sex crimes have a social stigma and carry serious consequences. A crime of this nature could lead to your child being denied entry into college and prohibit them from entering certain career fields such as teaching or medical professions.
At the law offices of Finebloom & Haenel our experienced staff knows how difficult and overwhelming this situation can be for a family. We are there to lend legal support to you and your child. If your child has been accused of committing a sex crime in the Orlando area, call us now at 407-238-6138 to discuss your options. Our knowledgeable and caring staff is available 24/7 to take your call. Protect your child. Call now!