Miami Juvenile Case Defense Attorney
What is an Indictment?
An Indictment is a formal way of charging someone with a crime. The State presents evidence to a grand jury, without an opportunity for a defense attorney to be present to give a full and complete picture, and asks them to indict, or bring criminal charges against someone. Even a juvenile can be indicted, although it’s usually reserved for offenses that are punishable by death or life imprisonment, or where the child is younger than 14 years old.
What is a Waiver?
A waiver motion is a request made by the prosecutor asking the juvenile court judge to transfer a child that is at least 14 years old to adult court. The judge conducts a hearing and reviews the child’s history, the charge, and potential for rehabilitation, then either grants or denies the prosecutor’s request. The judge’s decision is based on legal criteria, the facts of the case and the child’s circumstances. A child of any age, with the consent of a parent or guardian, can be waived to adult court.
What is a Direct File?
A direct file is a transfer from juvenile court to adult court by the prosecutor. A hearing will not take place before a juvenile court judge because they have no authority to prevent the transfer. This can be a very scary time for you and your family. There are two (2) types of direct file: mandatory and discretionary.
1. Mandatory direct files occur when a child 16 years of age or older are required by state law to be tried as an adult for certain crimes and the law allows no exception.
2. Discretionary direct files are when the prosecutor decides to file certain crimes against children 14 years or older in adult court. The decision to send a discretionary case to adult court lies solely with the prosecutor and even if the judge may disagree, the judge cannot reverse the prosecutor’s filing decision.
The legal system can be confusing for adults, let alone juveniles, and no one should go at it alone. The support of a parent or guardian is important, but having the right attorney fighting for the child is crucial. I am available 24/7, 365. Let me provide you and your child with the representation that treats you like a member of my family.