What if my child breaks the law in Duval County?
If your child is facing criminal charges, you need a County Juvenile Defense Attorney experienced with the County Detention Center, county juvenile courts, juvenile record sealing rules, and the Family Code.
Juvenile Court is considerably different than adult court. It can be an intimidating environment with confusing procedures and rules. Getting correct information can be a very frustrating process. There is no right to a jury trial and there is no right to bail. Many criminal defense attorneys handle adult cases and rarely practice in juvenile court. Because of this, these lawyers often lack the experience and knowledge to effectively represent children in juvenile court.
Critical Decisions Facing Juvenile Offenders
According to the Juvenile Probation Commission more than 130,000 children detained by law enforcement officers will enter the juvenile justice system this year. These children arrive at the juvenile probation intake unit. Decisions that will have a lifelong impact on the child are made on the spot. In many cases the probation officer or court staff will tell parents that hiring an attorney is not necessary. This is not good advice. Juvenile court judges have many options from outright dismissal of the charges to long-term confinement in a correctional facility. For felony offenses, a youth 14 or older can be made to stand trial in the adult criminal courts.
Your first step in dealing with this situation is to hire an attorney – an experienced juvenile defense attorney. It’s critical that you child is represented by an experienced juvenile attorney from the very outset of his or her detainment. Your child’s freedom and future is at stake. Juvenile prosecution is on the increase and the State has shown its willingness to certify juveniles as adults rather than as juvenile delinquents. The Determinate Sentencing Law allows a juvenile facing a serious offense to be confined up to 40 years, first in a Youth Commission facility, followed by an optional court transfer to prison.
Experienced Duval County Juvenile Defense Attorneys
Our goal at The Dick Law Firm is to keep your child out of the criminal justice system. We will aggressively pursue a pretrial diversion agreement, which barring any further trouble with your child for six months, will result in a dismissal, or probation so they will not have to be removed from their home. In the event your child goes to trial our experience as a juvenile prosecutor and criminal defense trial lawyers will insure they get the best legal representation available in Duval county.
We know that dealing with the juvenile justice system can be a confusing and frightening situation for the entire family. Please call us at anytime day or night and we will provide you with an initial consultation and examine your particular situation. It won’t cost you anything, and it can give you the peace of mind knowing what would be the best path to take for your family in this stressful time.