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Juvenile Delinquency

Being arrested as a juvenile is far more serious than in past generations.  Adjudications of delinquency count against juveniles who later run into trouble with the law as young adults.  Juveniles are generally prosecuted for the same exact crimes as adults, but the rules, procedures, and penalties are much different than in adult court, thus requiring an experienced lawyer who knows how the juvenile courts system works.

I have defended many clients under age 18 in juvenile court as well as in adult court. A strong legal defense gives a juvenile the best chance of keeping their record clean and protecting their future.

When a Juvenile is Arrested

 The arrest procedure for juveniles is different from that of adults. This includes required attempts to provide notice to the child's parent or guardian and more flexible options for release conditions. The same standard of probable cause is required to take a child into police custody.

The standard Miranda warnings read to adults should be modified for those under 18 years old. These juvenile Miranda warnings are in simpler language than that of the (I believe) intentionally confusing language read to adults who are arrested and asked to make a statement to police. Juveniles should also be asked to put each warning into their own words after the officer reads it. This helps determine whether the child really understands what the officer is saying. Since children are likely to agree with an adult in authority, they will often answer "yes" when asked if they understand something, even when they do not. In my experience, juveniles listening to these warnings also tend to have trouble focusing on what the officer is saying to them. This occurs because they are very nervous and scared about having been arrested and their minds are often somewhere else. Juveniles are far less likely than adults to ask for a lawyer when being questioned by police, so this becomes an issue in many juvenile cases.

I provide more information here about what happens after a juvenile is arrested

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Mattie Fore Law, LLC is a criminal defense practice which handles all types of felonies, misdemeanors, and traffic offenses in Florida state courts. Ms. Fore will devote the time and attention you and your case deserve in order to achieve the best result possible.