An arrest has serious consequences for anyone, but when the accused is a juvenile the impact is long lasting. It can be difficult to escape the perception that goes along with having a criminal record, and when you are young this battle is fought your entire life. A criminal record may mean future employment and education opportunities may no longer exist for youthful offenders. Protecting your freedom is an immediate concern when arrested, but your future prospects should also be considered when developing a defense strategy.
ABC News highlights the importance of fighting charges when you are a juvenile, and the impact a criminal record has on your future:
● A fifteen year old boy is the center of attention in a debate as to how to treat juveniles charged with crimes. In this case, the boy was charged with a school shooting, and charged as an adult.
- In another case, a fourteen year old is serving life in prison for the death of his friend. The death is the result of a wrestling incident between the boy and a much younger child.
These cases are the trend, where youthful offenders are being tried and treated like adults. The argument in favor of this type of system is that a harsher punishment will deter other young people from committing similar acts. But, the opposition says there is no impact on today’s youth and points to continued school shootings as evidence the kids aren’t scared of the possibility of receiving adult punishment. With Florida having the second highest rate of incidents involving underage defendants, a better system is certainly needed. For now, if you are underage and have been arrested, or your child has been charged with a crime it is critical that you fight to have the case prosecuted properly. The punishment should fit the crime, but should also fit the facts. Juvenile offenders are less mature than adults and may be less aware of the consequences of their actions. Imposing sentences meant for older defendants does not serve any rehabilitative purpose and will not fix the system. A solid defense is a juvenile offender’s best strategy and can make all the difference in the world to your future.
If you are underage and have been arrested, or if your child has been charged with a crime, call our office to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney. We represent people charged with crimes in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. Call today to schedule an appointment.