When a Child Can Be Tried as an Adult in Miami

Although a juvenile is considered to be anyone under the age of 18, most states now make it possible for a child tried as an adult. If your child is facing a criminal procedure, contact a Miami criminal defense attorney for help.


Florida Law Pertaining to Children Tried as Adults

In the state of Florida, only a prosecutor can determine if the child tried as an adult. Your Miami criminal defense attorney will have to strategize in accordance with this. There are three ways this can happen.

One is a discretionary waiver, in which a child as young as 14-years-old could be tried as an adult. Another is through statutory exclusions, where the minimum age is usually 16-years-old. However, this may depend on the specific crime and the child’s prior record.

The last way is a direct filing, in which the minimum age at which a child tried as an adult will depend on the crime committed. In a direct filing there is no minimum age for a child if they are charged with a crime that carries a lifetime prison sentence or is punishable by death.


Felony Charges That May Lead to a Child Tried as an Adult

There are certain types of felony charges a Miami criminal defense attorney can defend that may result in a child tried as an adult including:

  • a second offense (or more) of a violent crime against an individual;
  • murder;
  • burglary (depends on the type);
  • sexual battery;
  • aggravated assault or battery;
  • armed/strong-armed robbery; and
  • carjacking.

If the child is 14-years-old or up, and they have committed at least a fourth felony offense involving violence or the use of a firearm they may be tried as an adult. This applies to situations where the child was adjudicated previously, it was withheld or they had committed three felony offenses.

There are several considerations that go into determining whether a child will be tried as an adult. This can include the seriousness of the crime, the manner in which it was committed, the maturity of the child, previous history, commitments to institutions, and more.

The act of a child tried as an adult carries with it serious consequences. Not only are they at risk of having an adult criminal record, which can impact their future significantly, but they may also be facing the same type of punishment an adult would receive.

This could mean life without parole or even a death sentence. It could also result in the loss of certain rights. Especially in the case of children, it is vital for a Miami criminal defense attorney to be hired to ensure their rights are not taken away from them preemptively.

A child’s future education, employment, ability to drive, vote, own a gun and other rights could be hampered with an adult conviction. The repercussions of this type of charge can be life-altering.

If your child is at risk of being tried as an adult, you will want to seek aggressive and experienced legal counsel. No matter what charges are being brought against your child, you should contact a Miami criminal defense attorney today. They may be able to help reduce your child’s charges or have them dismissed.