Can a juvenile be charged criminally as an adult?
The answer to that question is that it’s different in every jurisdiction. For example, in Florida prosecutors can use what’s called prosecutorial discretion. They can actually charge some juveniles, depending on their age, in adult court for more serious crimes. It happens frequently. It’s very, very, important if your child, if a juvenile, is being investigated for, or charged with, a crime that you get an experienced criminal defense attorney that understands juvenile criminal law to try to keep the case in juvenile court. You don’t want to have juveniles prosecuted in adult court in most instances. Sometimes it actually is better for the juvenile, but usually it’s better to keep the matter in juvenile court.
There’s one more thing. People are told all the time that juvenile records are confidential. Well listen, you know just from watching the news that almost nothing is confidential these days. Things end up on the internet. Things end up in the public domain that never should be there. It’s critically important that you have a lawyer, a criminal defense lawyer, who’s experienced, who understands the importance of trying to keep juvenile records confidential so they don’t haunt that young man or woman as they go through life because they were charged with an offense when they were a juvenile.