Florida is actually the state with the highest number of minors charged as adults. According to the Human Rights Watch, 98% of juveniles who end up in adult courts do so because of Florida’s direct file statute. This statute allows prosecutors to move a minor’s case from juvenile to adult court without consulting a judge, unlike in other states. If your child is facing a serious charge, he or she could be moved to adult court, which could lead to devastating results.
There are numerous factors that could contribute to whether or not a child is tried as an adult, including the following:
- Age at the time of the crime
- Past offenses
- Severity of the crime
- Whether the child is charged with a forcible felony
- Whether the child caused severe bodily injury or death to another
Typically, the more severe a crime is, the more likely he or she will be tried as an adult, especially if the child was 16 years of age or older at the time of the crime. For example, an offender who has been charged with murder, aggravated assault, sexual battery, robbery, burglary, or arson will likely be sent to adult court.
If a prosecutor does decide to try your child as an adult, his or her rights as a minor will be waived during the child. He or she will be tried the same as an adult and will face the same penalties, which could include life in prison.
Make sure you give your child the best chance of avoiding a conviction. Talk to one of our skilled Clearwater criminal defense attorneys about your case as soon as possible. Tinny, Meyer & Piccarreto, P.A. has more than 35 years of legal experience to offer. Let us provide you with insight into how the opposition thinks and what to expect.
Contact us at (727) 245-9009 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation today.