Being charged with rape or another sex offense is a grave matter for anyone to deal with, especially for a juvenile. These kinds of allegations can be both traumatic and life-changing, so it’s important that you, as a responsible adult involved in the life of a child who is facing a serious juvenile charge, make certain decisions on his or her behalf, such as the decision to involve the services of a Miami criminal defense attorney who regularly handles juvenile offenders and sex crimes in Florida.
Understanding the Problem of Juvenile Sex Offense
Research indicates that an estimated 250,000 to 300,000 children are abused each year, and the best approximation of sex abuse survivors in the United States numbers more than 60 million. It has been estimated that juveniles account for approximately 20% of rape cases and as much as half of all cases of child sexual abuse each year, but the research is inexact.
What is known is that children who have been the victim of sexual abuse are more likely to become abusers themselves, but beyond that, there are more theories than there is evidence about why children and teens sexually abuse others. Approximately 40% to 80% of juvenile offenders have been sexually abused themselves, and between 20% and 50% were physically abused.
Although data is lacking on the “why” of juvenile rape charges, there is plenty to support “who” – according to studies, 9 of 10 juvenile sex offenders are male and most commit an offense prior to the age of 15. The problem of juvenile sex offenders is not particular to any race, socioeconomic class, geographic location, culture, religion, or ethnic group – offenders exist across all spectrums and in all populations.
When Your Child is Facing a Juvenile Charge for Rape
If your child has been charged with a sexual offense in Florida, you need a Miami criminal defense attorney who will listen to your child’s story without judgment and provide you with all of the resources and information you need to make a decision about how to proceed.
An attorney can detail your legal options going forward with the case and provide insight based on his or her previous experience. Your attorney can also tell you whether or not there is a risk that your child may be taken from your home and placed in a residential program for sexual offenders, as is the case with some sexual offense crimes.
Juvenile crimes are generally handled in Family Court in Florida, but not in all cases. Although some experts and policymakers agree that a juvenile sex offender is easier to help than an adult offender, whose habits may already be fully ingrained, it’s possible that if your child is 16 or 17 he or she may be tried as an adult. In that case, the potential punishments can be severe and the case will end up on your child’s permanent criminal record to likely haunt him when he applies for college, a job, or even an apartment.
Speak with an attorney who can build a case for your child’s rehabilitation and help you get your child the help he or she needs to leave this difficult time behind and move on with a productive and healthy life. 1-877-663-5110.