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Sarasota Juvenile Defense

What's the difference between Juvenile and adult crime?

While all the crimes are the same and the State must prove the same things whether a crime is committed by a juvenile or an adult, court procedure is very different between the two as is the punishment. Florida courts have special rules to follow in Juvenile court that vary greatly from those in adult court. For example, when an adult is arrested he may post a bond to get out of jail and if he does not post a bond, then he remains incarcerated until his case is disposed of. There is no bond given to a juvenile, rather a juvenile's offense and criminal history are taken into consideration and scored. If the juvenile scores above 12 points, the court may hold him in detention for up to 21 days. Also, the possible punishments are different. While both adult and juvenile sanctions can be probation, juveniles are not sent to serve jail terms. Juveniles are instead sent to "programs". These programs vary in length and atmosphere depending on the child's history and needs. The aim of the juvenile system is more rehabilitation than punishment.

He's only a kid, do I really need a lawyer?

Absolutely! While the potential punishment may be less harsh than if your child were in an adult court, he will still may be adjudicated delinquent which will remain on his permanent record. If your child commits a crime as an adult, the State will use any juvenile convictions to ask for a higher bond, add to a score sheet, or use the juvenile conviction as an aggravating factor during sentencing. Sex crimes are especially hazardous for a juvenile because an adjudication for a sex offense even at 15 may cause him to have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life and possibly wear an ankle monitor. The rules of juvenile court are complex and sometimes counter-intuitive and may result in an unexpected and unfortunate outcome if not properly represented.

Can Soler and Slack, P.A. help?

Yes! Many of the Juvenile procedure rules of court are foreign to most defense attorneys, even defense attorneys who regularly practice in adult court. The attorneys at Soler and Slack, P.A. are well-versed in the unique juvenile rules of court and will use them to help protect your child. We understand that your child is the most important thing in the world to you, and we are dedicated to ensuring that your child has aggressive, competent representation to protect not only his well- being in the present, but also protect his future.

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