In Florida, juveniles accused of sex offenses often face the same or similar consequences as adults accused of sex offenses. Often, cases will be moved to adult criminal court for trial.
Juveniles age 14 or older are required to register as sex offenders. Florida juvenile sex offense delinquency adjudications come with the same or similar harsh consequences as adult sex offense cases, and a successful defense against any juvenile sex offense charge takes someone with in-depth knowledge of the numerous elements of a juvenile sex offense case.
If you or your child have been arrested for a juvenile sex offense in Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Greenacres, or Jupiter, , take the important first step of your Palm Beach County criminal defense strategy and call Meltzer & Bell, P.A. immediately. The team of attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. fight to get criminal charges reduced or dismissed, and they have taken hundreds of cases to jury trial through verdict.
To learn more about what Meltzer & Bell, P.A. can do for your juvenile sex offense case in Palm Beach County, call (561) 283-3259 today and schedule a free initial case consultation.
Even teenagers under the age of 18 will most likely be required to register as a “sex offender” by Fla. Stat. § 943.035 or Fla. Stat. § 775.21 if adjudicated delinquent of a sex offense. Fla. Stat. § 943.035(1) even requires juveniles moving into or living in the state of Florida to register as a “sex offender” if they have been found guilty or adjudicated delinquent of a sex offense in another state.
Florida was encouraged to adopt this practice by the federal government as part of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, which threatened to take away 10 % of Florida's federal Byrne Justice Assistance Grant money if Florida did not adopt this practice, so this practice is unlikely to end anytime soon.
In addition, certain juvenile records related to sex offenses can never be sealed, expunged, or destroyed. Florida law also allows juvenile delinquency hearings to be open to the general public, including delinquency hearings involving sex offenses.
Many sex offense cases with an underage defendant in Florida can, and in some cases are required to, be moved to adult criminal court, even if the accused is underage and would otherwise be tried in juvenile court.
It is important to note that under Florida law it is not a defense to a charge of sexual activity with an underage person if the accused is under age 16 or 18. However, any of these factors may be used to argue for a lower sentence if a conviction is unavoidable.
If you or your child have been arrested and charged with a juvenile sex offense anywhere in Lake Worth, Palm Beach Gardens, Riviera Beach, Royal Palm Beach, Wellington, West Palm Beach, or any of the surrounding areas, contact Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. If you are considering the assistance of an attorney as a part of your defense strategy against a charge of a juvenile sex offense in the West Palm Beach area, it is best to contact an experienced Palm Beach County criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after being arrested due to the harsh consequences involved.
Our criminal defense attorneys have more than 20 years of combined experience. Your first consultation with Meltzer & Bell, P.A. is free, so call (561) 283-3259 today and schedule your appointment.