Can a Minor Be Charged with a Felony?
If your child has been arrested, he or she will face a slightly different court system than one designed for adults. The adult judicial system aims to punish offenders and keep the general public safe from their potential for harm. However, the administration of juvenile justice seeks to rehabilitate minors who may be capable of changing their behaviors for the better. If your child is facing criminal charges, however, he or she may be convicted of a felony depending on the circumstances.
Florida law allows prosecutors to move a minor’s case from juvenile court to adult court without consulting a judge. If your child is facing a felony charge in adult court, the consequences could be long-lasting.
If a minor goes to trial, he or she has certain rights an adult will not; however, these rights are waived if the child is tried in adult court. The factors that could determine whether or not your child will be tried as an adult include his or her past offenses, his or her age, the severity of the crime, and other relevant factors. According to Florida statutes the following conditions might lead to conviction of a felony crime in adult court if your child was 14 years of age or older and had been previously adjudicated delinquent for a felony act that was committing or attempting to commit one of the following crimes:
- Sexual battery
- Armed or strong-armed robbery
- Home-invasion robbery
- Aggravated battery
- Aggravated assault
In addition, the child must be currently charged with a second or subsequent violent crime against a person.
Likewise, your child could be tried in adult court if he or she was 14 years of age or older at the time of commission of a 4th or subsequent alleged felony offense and was previously adjudicated delinquent or had adjudication withheld for or was found to have committed, or had attempted to commit, 3 crimes that would have been considered felony offenses if committed by an adult. Additionally, 1 or more of such offenses must have involved the use or possession of a firearm or violence against another person.
If you’re afraid your child may be facing an extended jail sentence, particularly in adult court, you should consult an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you hire a skilled attorney, the sooner they can begin building a case for your child’s defense. Musca Law has more than 150 years of combined legal experience to offer. Make sure you and your child both understand the circumstances of the case and the prosecution’s accusation. Our lawyers can help. We are known for our fierce dedication and advocacy of the people we defend. Let us see what we can do for you.
Start your case today by calling us at (888) 497-0216 or filling out our online form with relevant details. We look forward to speaking with you.