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Teens Facing Serious Charges Stemming From Sexual Assault

Teenagers – we have all been there at one time and know how hard it is to resist peer pressure. Not many of us made it into adulthood without doing at least one thing that we probably regretted in retrospect because ‘everyone else was doing it.’ For things like sneaking a cigarette or cutting class, it is easy to chalk it up to a rite of passage that causes little long-term harm. However, some teens may find themselves in real trouble, having committed real crimes, as a result of more extreme types of group behavior. A group of high school students is facing serious charges as a result of this type of scenario, having been arrested for the sexual battery of an incapacitated 21-year-old woman.

Adult or Child – The Child’s Choice?

In almost all cases, it is best for the child to be treated and tried as a juvenile and avoid the adult criminal courts altogether.  Florida law, however, provides that a child can elect to be treated and tried as an adult.  Florida Statute Section 985.556 provides that a juvenile can demand in writing to be tried as an adult so long as he or she is joined by either his or her parent or, if a parent is absent, a guardian or guardian ad litem. Once this voluntary waiver of juvenile court jurisdiction has been made, the juvenile is treated by the court system as though he or she were an adult.

Adult or Child – The Criminal Justice System’s Choice

This same Florida statute also provides for involuntary discretionary waiver and involuntary mandatory waiver for children to be tried as adults.  For a discretionary waiver, the state attorney may file a motion asking the court to try the juvenile as an adult if the juvenile was at least 14 years old at the time they committed the act or crime. With respect to an involuntary waiver, on the other hand, the state attorney must request that the juvenile be tried as an adult when the juvenile is at least 14 years old and has a certain type of previous criminal history.  If the court fails to enter the requested order in cases where involuntary mandatory waiver is appropriate, the court must provide written reasons explaining why it did not enter the order.

Reach Out to us for Assistance

If you have been arrested for a crime, the office of Deric Zacca, P.A. should be the first call you make. With any type of criminal matter, it is important to have competent representation from the beginning, particularly in cases where there is a decision to be made about jurisdiction issues such as those involved in juvenile cases. Cases often turn on the details, and Attorney Deric Zacca’s in-depth knowledge of the importance of these details can make all the difference in your case. Years of experience on both sides of the criminal justice system allow Attorney Deric Zacca to have a broad view of the issues in any matter. From your initial meeting until the final resolution of your criminal case, you can rest assured that Attorney Deric Zacca has your best interests in mind and will advocate tirelessly to protect your rights. Do not delay – contact Deric Zacca, P.A. today  to set up your initial meeting with a skilled attorney.