Penalties & Consequences of Juvenile Felonies and Misdemeanors

Penalties for juvenile felonies and juvenile misdemeanors in Miami vary according to the type of crime committed. While a felony charge is more serious and carries heftier penalties, even a misdemeanor can have a negative impact on a young person’s life. A defense attorney can provide more specific guidance regarding the penalties a child may face.

The good news is that juvenile cases are handled much differently than adult ones, with the ultimate goal being rehabilitation over punishment, but this doesn’t mean a young offender won’t have to face penalties. There are even some circumstances in which a minor could find him or herself being charged as an adult, in which case adult penalties may apply.

Types of Juvenile Sentencing

The sentence a child may face is largely dependent on the type of crime with which he or she is charged (juvenile felony or juvenile misdemeanor) and varies depending on a number of other circumstances, including any previous arrests or the magnitude of the crime.

Sentencing can include probation, community service, house arrest and juvenile detention. At a detention hearing, the judge may order a juvenile to stay in detention for up to 21 days or longer in some cases or may authorize his or her release. If the child is detained,
roids – anabolic steroid services generally are offered, including education, mental health and other court-ordered programs.

Home detention allows the child to remain home under the supervision of a Juvenile Probation Officer until the next court appearance. A supervision contract must be signed by the child and his or her parents or guardian. Violations of the terms may result in the child being sent back to a secure detention facility.

Generally, juveniles will not be sentenced to incarceration beyond their 18th birthday. A longer sentence typically would apply to more serious crimes, and many juvenile cases result in orders of probation, community service, mandatory school attendance and/or a curfew.

While adult criminals are responsible for payment of fines, parents of juvenile offenders are liable for fines their child incurs. If it’s found the youth has no means of paying the fine, a parent’s paycheck could be garnished.

Juvenile Criminal Records 

A record of the arrest will exist, regardless of whether the child was adjudicated. What’s more, felony arrest records may even be made public.

Although the juvenile criminal record typically is confidential, it’s possible that the public may access some records. It may be possible to seal or expunge a misdemeanor criminal history record or even a felony record, depending on the type of crime. In this case, the child may be able to deny the arrest on job or school applications. 

More Juvenile Felony & Misdemeanor Consequences

Changes of a juvenile felony could mean the loss of the minor’s driver’s license, ability to serve in the armed forces or get a job in law enforcement. Other repercussions could include ineligibility for financial aid or a college scholarship.

Juvenile misdemeanors are less severe than felonies. However, it can still mean some type of confinement or payment of fines. It may even impact a young person’s ability to work or attend school, in some cases.

Seeking Help from Defense Attorneys

The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice reports that the most common misdemeanor charge between 2010 and 2011 was simple assault or battery. Other common offenses that may lead to misdemeanor charges include vandalism, vagrancy, drug possession, theft and underage drinking.

The most common juvenile felonies committed between 2010 and 2011 include burglary (11,007) and aggravated assault and battery (6,311). Other offenses considered felonies include homicide, rape, weapons possession or possession of certain drugs.

There is a lot to lose, so to make sure your child’s rights are protected. Consult a defense attorney at Falk & Ross Law Firm in Miami. We handle cases stemming from juvenile misdemeanors and juvenile felonies.