The juvenile justice system is the subject of much debate not only here at home in Florida, but across the country. There are those that believe kids get lost in the system, and no real good comes from prosecuting youthful offenders. The goal is rehabilitation, but without the proper checks and balances in place, it is a hard goal to attain. In order to “get the attention” of younger offenders, the consequences have to be relevant to their lives.

One thing that really hits home with a teen is being able to drive. In order to provide an education on the dangers of unsafe or unlawful driving habits, as well as on prevention of other crimes, the State has made it a law that if a juvenile offender is charged with a traffic offense that would result in loss of license had the driver been an adult, the younger driver will also lose their driving privileges by losing their driver’s permit. Three other things juvenile offenders should know about how certain acts are viewed in the eyes of law, and how their right to drive may be impacted, include:

  • Driving permits can also be taken away if a juvenile is convicted of a weapons or firearms violation.
  • Stealing from a retail establishment, in an amount classified as a misdemeanor, will result in the loss of a driver’s permit. This type of theft is referred to as petit theft, and is a common crime committed by younger offenders. Sometimes the “thrill” of taking something from a store without paying is too great, but doing so can mean not being able to drive.
  • Drug and alcohol offenses, including possession of either, can cause a juvenile offender to lose their driving permit. Those that sell to minors can also lose their right to drive, regardless if the seller is a juvenile or an adult.

These rules apply not only to youthful offenders with driving permits, but also teens that have not yet turned 18 and have an actual driver’s license. The goal is to keep juveniles out of jail, and to give them a chance to change. For most teens there is nothing worse than not being able to drive. If your child has been charged with a crime and needs help, call our office. We handle not only adult cases, but also offer defense services to youthful offenders.


For more information about what juveniles can expect when charged with a crime, call an experienced defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. We offer an initial consultation for no charge, and look forward to helping you resolve your case in a satisfactory way.