As a parent, we are supposed to have all the answers; be able to help in any situation. But when your child is accused of a crime, you may not have all the answers. You likely need the assistance of a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney to answer the questions that will undoubtedly arise, and to ensure your child’s best interests are protected.

Can my child be tried as an adult?

Any crime alleged to have been committed by a child or minor is considered a juvenile crime.

However, if a juvenile is charged with certain felony offenses, his or her case may be transferred to the adult criminal division where he or she will be prosecuted as an adult. If a child is found guilty or pleads guilty in adult court, and is sentenced as an adult, that child is forever considered an adult for future violations of state law. A juvenile’s case may be transferred to adult criminal court in three ways: indictment, waiver, and direct file. If his or her case is not transferred to adult court, than he or she may still be found “delinquent” (the equivalent of “guilty” in juvenile court), which can have it’s own consequences.

Juvenile Cases

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.

Did a amazing job got my case dismissed and I didn’t even have to go to trial. Will definitely contact him again if I ever need any other legal services.

For help right away, or a free initial consultation, email any time of the day or night, or call 305-938-9939. I answer calls and email 24/7.