Criminal Defense LawyerLakeland, Tampa, FL

Juvenile Crimes and Juvenile Criminal Record

A Lakeland defense attorney who stands up for youth accused of crimes

Criminal charges can derail anyone’s life, but when an underage minor is accused of a crime in Polk County, their life can be seriously damaged before it even begins. Although there are special procedures in place that sometimes limit the long-term impact of juvenile charges, the consequences can still be significant. Juvenile crimes can affect your child as an adult. A conviction may prevent them from getting into the military or affect their ability to own or possess a firearm as an adult. That’s why a strong defense is critical.

If your child or another underage family member was charged with a crime in Lakeland or another community in Polk County, you need an experienced Lakeland juvenile defense attorney who knows the Florida Juvenile Justice Department procedures well. Children charged with a crime are often given a second chance, as long as their juvenile crime lawyer can make a good case for it. That’s why you need to talk to Thomas C. Grajek, Attorney at Law in Lakeland right away.

We defend all types of juvenile crimes

Again, often when a crime is committed by a minor, it’s a result of immaturity and impulsive behavior. Some of the most common juvenile violations include:

  • Simple assault due to fighting incidents
  • Underage drinking violations
  • Shoplifting and other petty theft charges
  • Vandalism and graffiti charges
  • Burglary or breaking into homes or cars

Nearly half of the 11,466 juveniles arrested in Florida, 2020, were charged with simple assault. Source- Florida Dept. Of Law EnforcementMore serious juvenile crimes can include violent felonies, and even sex crimes. In addition, criminal traffic offenses do not go to juvenile court; the child is treated as an adult. That means they could end up with an adult criminal record.

It’s important to take a juvenile case seriously right from the beginning because the long-term consequences can be significant. For instance, a juvenile offense can affect whether you can own a gun as an adult. In Florida, if you are found to have committed a juvenile act that would be a felony in adult court, you cannot possess a firearm until you are over the age of 24. It can also affect sentencing as an adult.

How juvenile crimes can affect future sentencing

In addition to the restrictions that a juvenile conviction may have on your ability to possess a weapon, juvenile acts can affect your scoresheet in felony court, too. A criminal law scoresheet is a legal document used by a prosecutor to determine the appropriate sentencing for you. This is a requirement under Florida law, and you most likely will not have the same score sheet with another person since it is worked out by going through a series of calculations. If you score greater than 44 points on the Scoresheet, you score out to a prison sentence in adult court.

Felony scoresheet points depend on numerous factors, one of which is your juvenile record. Under Florida Criminal Statute 921.0021, any juvenile offenses committed within five years of the adult criminal offense are included on the scoresheet that determines whether or not you will be sentenced to prison as an adult. Juvenile sex offenses can be included on the scoresheet under “Prior Record” even if they occurred more than five years prior to the adult crime if the individual has not maintained a conviction-free record for five consecutive years.

What are the penalties for juvenile crimes?

There are different types of punishment that the court can impose on you: incarceration options (rehabilitation programs or work camps) and non-incarceration options for juvenile delinquents. Incarceration options include home confinement, juvenile jail, and rehab programs. Some examples of non-incarceration options are verbal warning, fines, counseling, community service, and probation.

Get an experienced Lakeland juvenile crime defense lawyer

My extensive experience as a defense attorney for juvenile crimes means I have an established relationship in dealing with the courts and prosecutors. I can answer your questions, help you with your arrest, and protect your rights in court.

Do not leave the outcome of a serious charge to chance. Get in touch with my firm by requesting a free consultation using the contact form on this page or by calling the office closest to you.

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