If your child has been arrested in the Orlando area accused of committing a violent crime, they need representation NOW! The attorneys of Finebloom & Haenel are aggressive and caring and are available to help protect your child’s rights!
The Florida Statutes define violent crimes as any of the following:
- SEXUAL BATTERY
- SEXUAL ASSAULT
- LEWD/LASCIVIOUS BEHAVIOR
- ROBBERY WITH OR WITHOUT A WEAPON
- HOME INVASION or HOME INVASION ROBBERY
- AGGRAVATED ASSAULT
- AGGRAVATED BATTERY
- ASSAULT/BATTERY ON LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- AGGRAVATED STALKING
- RESISTING ARREST WITH VIOLENCE
- ARMED BURGLARY OR BURGLARY WITH ASSAULT OR BATTERY
- WEAPONS CHARGES
- LEAVE ACCIDENT WITH INJURY/DEATH
- DUI MANSLAUGHTER OR DUI WITH INJURY
If your child is 16 or older and has an extensive history in the juvenile justice system, or if the crime is considered by the state to be especially bad, the State can charge your child as an adult!!
When a child is arrested for a violent crime under the law, if they aren’t charged as an adult, 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 drug 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.
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.
Violent crimes are taken very seriously by law enforcement, prosecutors and the community. They are extremely devastating and can lead to expulsion from school, extracurricular activities such as sports, and can keep your child from receiving financial aid in the future. Some violent crimes will require your child to register for the rest of their lives even if they are not charged in the adult system.
A violent charge is devastating and overwhelming for both you and your child. The stress can affect the whole family.
At the law offices of Finebloom & Haenel we are sympathetic to this situation. We can provide the support needed to help you an your child understand the system, your options and any possible consequences. We work with you to obtain the best possible result. If your child has been arrested in the Orlando area for a violent crime, call our experienced attorneys for a consultation now. We are available 24/7 at 407-218-6277.