While the juvenile justice system focuses on rehabilitation, there is certainly an element of punishment that goes into each case. As a parent of a minor under the age of 18 or as the arrested juvenile, you probably have many concerns and questions about the process. What is the court system like? Will the judge be lenient? Will the minor be charged as an adult?
At Moses and Rooth Attorneys at Law, in Orlando, our team of dedicated juvenile defense attorneys is prepared to fight on your behalf. We have extensive experience representing juveniles and understand your concerns. As our client, you can feel confident knowing that we will stand by your side and do everything we can to secure a favorable outcome. We believe early intervention in this matter is key to your child’s future.
Court Proceedings for Juvenile Cases
The typical court case for juvenile offenses follows this process:
- Arrest and booking: The minor is booked and fingerprinted. The juvenile system is different from the adult system, because the minor is not given a bond. Depending on the charges, the child may be released to the parents or may be required to see a judge who may then place the child on supervised release.
- Detention hearing: This occurs within 24 hours of booking. The judge reviews placement options regarding where the child is detained. The Judge may decide that the juvenile can be released to their parent or guardian, a treatment center or may decide that they must remain in secured detention. Our law firm contacts the prosecutors as early as possible, preferably prior to the detention hearing. We do this so that your child can be home with you, often with an ankle monitor.
- Diversion program: Whenever possible, we attempt for our juvenile clients to participate in a pretrial diversion program. Successful completion of a diversion program results in a dismissal of the charges and no juvenile record. The decision to grant admission into a diversion program is at the discretion of the State Attorney’s Office.
- Arraignment: By the time of the arraignment, the state has decided how to charge the child. The juvenile will then be required to enter a plea to the charges.
- Juvenile court adjudicatory hearings: This is similar to an adult trial. However, there is no jury. Essentially, the judge acts as the jury and will find the child guilty or not guilty.
The above is an abbreviated overview of court proceedings for juvenile cases. As the parent or arrested juvenile is not your job to understand all of the processes – that is our job as your attorneys. Let us help you.