Maybe it was a prank that resulted in trespassing or property damage charges. Maybe it was a high school fight that resulted in injuries and then criminal charges. Maybe it was a youthful mistake involving drugs or alcohol at a party. Whatever the reason, when your teenager is facing criminal charges in Florida, you need to take it seriously.
Pleading guilty to an offense could cause a wide range of issues for your child in the future. Depending on the charges, it could impact getting into college, finding a job, securing housing and many other aspects of adult life.
Avoid being a cautionary tale
Starting off as a new adult with a criminal record isn’t easy. In fact, it’s a very real disadvantage. You may think that because your child made a youthful, silly mistake that the courts will be lenient. In reality, youthful offenders are often given harsh sentences as a means of deterring others from following their examples. Sometimes, with the right advocacy, leniency in sentencing for youthful offenders is possible.
While you obviously want your teenager to learn from this mistake in judgment, you also don’t want for his or her life to be completely changed either. You shouldn’t simply hope for the best when it comes to your child’s future. You need to be proactive to protect it.
Public defenders may not do enough
Anyone accused of a serious crime is entitled to an attorney. These public defenders may be skilled attorneys who donate some of their time to the pursuit of justice for all. However, many times public defenders are overworked. Worse yet, they may not have experience in the area of law necessary to properly defend your teenager against charges. Given how profound and lasting the impact of a criminal record could be for a young person, you should absolutely look into retaining an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney on behalf of your child.
An experienced criminal defense lawyer can review the circumstances of your child’s charges and help you create a stronger defense strategy. The right attorney could help you get charges reduced with a well-negotiated plea bargain. Sometimes, it’s possible to arrange to have juvenile criminal records sealed if your child doesn’t get into any other legal trouble until adulthood. In cases of drug or alcohol offenses, the right attorney may be able to get the charges lessened or even thrown out if your child completes substance abuse therapy.
Every criminal charge and case is different. An experienced defense lawyer can help tailor a plan for your exact situation, improving the chances of a positive outcome for your teen. From police questioning to examining a plea deal, your lawyer can help protect your child’s rights and ensure that a single youthful mistake won’t cause issues for years to come.