Parents may not realize it, but juveniles account for more than one-third (35.6 percent) of those known to police to commit sexual offenses against minors. Most juvenile sexual delinquents are in the stage of early adolescence and are likely “playing doctor” out of curiosity. Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean it won’t cause harm to either child.
In addition, the juvenile justice system has a hard time distinguishing between a case of simple inquisitiveness and a serious sexual crime. Which means a child could face serious consequences even if the act they committed wasn’t intended to be sexual. In some cases, a juvenile can even be sentenced to adult court if the crime is serious enough. If you or someone you know has committed a juvenile sexual offense, then it’s within your best interest to gain experienced legal representation.
Juvenile Sex Crimes Attorney in West Palm Beach, Florida
Are you in need of legal representation for your child? If so, it’s within your best interest to hire an attorney with an extensive background in juvenile cases like Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. Our juvenile defense lawyers will do whatever possible to reduce or dismiss your child’s delinquency charges. With over twenty years of collective experience, our lawyers thoroughly understand the juvenile judicial system and can utilize it for your case.
Call us now at (561) 557-8686 to set up your first consultation free. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. can sit with you and start building a defense structure for your case there and then. We represent people throughout the greater Palm Beach County area including West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Wellington, and Jupiter.
Overview of Juvenile Sex Offenders in FL
- Different Types of Juvenile Sex Crimes in FL
- Possible Consequences for Committing a Juvenile Sex Crime
- Diversion Programs for Juvenile Sex Crimes
- Additional Resources
Different Types of Juvenile Sex Crimes in Florida
Juveniles are just as susceptible to criminal charges as adults if they commit a sexual offense. In most cases, the arrest is a result of several or one complaint from an alleged victim, their parents or a third-party witness. Juvenile offenders are normally given a summons before going to their court date and aren’t detained beforehand.
Some common criminal charges that a juvenile may face include, but are not limited to:
- Sexual Battery / Assault;
- Lewd or Lascivious Offenses;
- Indecent Exposure;
- Unlawful Sexual Activity with Minors.
- Child Pornography;
- Transmission of child pornography; or
- Sexual performance by a child
Possible Consequences for Committing a Juvenile Sexual Crime in FL
Florida designed the juvenile court system to rehabilitate children rather than punish them. Their goal is to learn from the child’s experience so they can easily assimilate back into society without fear of them becoming an adult criminal. If a juvenile isn’t accepted into a diversion program, there are other sentencing options they could face.
Some common consequences for a juvenile sexual crime include the following:
- Paying restitution
- School progress monitoring
- Substance abuse rehabilitation
- Completion of required court-ordered classes
- Community service
- Regular drug tests
- Prosecution in adult court
- Time in a detention facility for juveniles or juvenile program
Diversion Programs for Juvenile Sex Crimes in Florida
Most juvenile sex offenders won’t have to go through the adult or juvenile judicial system and will opt for a diversion program instead. Juvenile diversion programs are state-run alternatives for people under the age of 18 who have been charged with a delinquent offense. The programs were designed to have juvenile offenders focus on their rehabilitation rather than spend time in a detainment facility.
The purpose of the program is to have the child evaluate their choices and reflect on what they mean to deter committing crimes in the future. Diversion programs offer a wide array of services to rehabilitate their youthful offenders. It can provide religious services, management services, education instruction or other type of character-building program. Normally, the program will attempt to treat the underlying problem that caused the child to commit the criminal offense.
Juvenile offenders in a diversion program are often assigned a Juvenile Probation Officer so they can be monitored and ensure they’re completing their conditions on time. Diversion and court supervision for juveniles can incorporate a variety of conditions including:
- Avoid contact with co-defendants, friends or acquaintances who are deemed to be inappropriate associations
- Community service hours;
- No victim contact;
- Restitution to victims;
- Referral to local social service agencies;
- Substance abuse or mental health counseling;
- Letter of apology to victims;
- Curfew; and
- Forfeiture of driver’s license
The Children’s Campaign: Visit the official website for the non-profit and non-partisan organization known as the Children’s Campaign, who promote justice reform for juveniles in Florida. Access the website to learn their mission statement, ways to get involved and resources showing statistics for juvenile offenders.
Palm Beach County Clerk | Juvenile Services – Visit the official website for the Palm Beach County clerk to learn more about their juvenile services. Access the site to see what information you need to request records and the appeals process for juvenile offenders.
Palm Beach County Lawyers for Juvenile Sex Crimes in FL
If you or someone you know has been charged with a juvenile sex offense, then it’s important you seek an experienced criminal defense attorney for assistance. Our suggestion is you contact the skilled lawyers at Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. We have a special focus in juvenile criminal cases and can be you and your child’s guide to the judicial system.
Call us now at (561) 557-8686 and our attorneys will set up your first consultation free of charge. Our lawyers will fight tirelessly for your child’s rights and future. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. accepts clients throughout the greater Palm Beach County area including West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Jupiter, and Boca Raton, Florida.