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Criminal Defense Blog

The Law Office of Jerry Jenkins

Juvenile Delinquency Attorney Orlando Fl

A juvenile delinquent is defined as a minor who committed an act in violation with the law. Depending on the severity of the act, the youth in violation may be charged with a delinquent act or with an actual crime, in which case, they could be tried as an adult in the respective court. Once the youth has been observed or is implicated in an act that violates the law, an officer of the law becomes involved and from that point on, the implications and punishment varies substantially depending on the situation.

If the violation isn't severe, the youth can be given a civil citation. This is a preventative measure taken by the state of Florida to :

a) Reduce the rate of Juvenile Delinquency

b) Give youth another opportunity/ alternative to potentially being criminalized.

Otherwise, the youth is taken into custody where an assessment known as the D.R.A.I (Detention Risk Assessment Instrument) is used to determine where the youth should be placed pending a court date. Depending on the evaluation done, there are a number of potential outcomes where the youth could be:

1) Placed in a Diversion Program - This is typically an option when the youth is being charged with a minor crime. The goal is to keep the youth in their own community where they may be required to participated in Arbitration, Mentoring Programs, Alternative Schooling or Juvenile Alternative Services Program, Teen Court, Intensive Delinquency Diversion Services. They are assigned a Probation Officer who oversees their compliance with the program. In some cases, the youth could be required to live in a residential facility. Depending on the individual, the court may impose sanctions or conditions to follow such as restitution, treatment for substance abuse, therapy, avoid contact with co-defendants and/or the victim (if applicable). Curfew may also be imposed and the drivers license of the youth may be confiscated.

2) Charged as an Adult in Adult Court- In this case the court must provide an order specifying the facts and factors that influenced their decision to charge the youth as an adult. The court uses a number of criteria to determine whether adult sanctions should be imposed including but not limited to:

◦ Seriousness of crime

◦ Safety of community,

◦ Nature of the offense (spontaneous or premeditated, violent or non-violent?)

◦ Was the crime against a person or property?

◦ History of the Child (Criminal and Social Services)

◦ Probation history

◦ Probable Cause

◦ The maturity of the youth in question

3) Placed into the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative, this program was designed to reduce the impact incarceration has on the state by reducing over-crowding in detention facilities and taxpayer dollars. Its goal is to provide youth in violation of the law the opportunity to become productive members of society.

Under certain circumstances, the youth is placed in a secure detention center while the court evaluates the case. The alternative to being held in a detention facility is awaiting the court date at home. Eventually the case will either be dropped, adjudication will be withheld (youth is released) or the youth will be adjudicated and placed in a residential facility. In many cases a youth is assigned to a Juvenile Probation Officer that enforce the court order. If you are the parent of a youth found in violation of the law there are many things to consider. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the incident, once a youth is taken into custody, retaining an attorney who has knowledge of the system will give the child the best opportunity at receiving a favorable outcome.

The Law Office of Jerry Jenkins has extensive experience defending youth offenders in Orange County and Lake County as well as the surrounding area. When your child or loved one is being charged with a crime, invest in their future by securing the services of an assertive advocate who will evaluate the facts and fight for their best interest.

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DUIs in Orlando Florida

A DUI conviction is a serious offense in the state of Florida and carries with it severe penalties. To anyone unfamiliar with DUI law, these penalties are almost unavoidable. The time constraints to formally fighting a DUI penalty are very strict as well, and must be adhered to for any hope of dropping or lessening the charges. Florida specifically has rigid timetables as to when certain motions and evidence needs to be submitted. Without specific, up-to-date knowledge on how Florida prosecutes DUI convictions, it is extremely difficult to get a DUI charge dismissed.

There are many possible defenses to DUIs that should be taken into consideration from the second you are pulled over by an officer. If you are suspected of driving under the influence the police will perform a series of tests to determine your sobriety level. These can include a field sobriety test, blood test, breath test (breathalyzer) or urine test.

To start, it’s important to understand Florida’s “Implied Consent” law. By receiving a driver’s license in Florida you are automatically agreeing to this law, which means you have already given consent for officers to give you a breathalyzer test. You can still refuse to perform this test, but there are penalties for your refusal (including license suspension), depending on the number of prior offenses and other factors. Refusal to take a breathalyzer doesn’t mean you won’t be arrested; in fact, it almost guarantees your arrest. If officers have requested you to provide a breathalyzer test it’s because their initial observations have led them to suspect you are driving under the influence. If you refuse a breathalyzer, officers will then be basing their decision solely on their observations & field tests – which have already concluded you are DUI.

There are many ways to invalidate a DUI conviction, and these defenses start the second you are pulled over. Breathalyzer tests can be proven inaccurate for a number of reasons, including the way they are maintained, administered, analyzed, etc. The testing procedure must follow federal guidelines in order to be considered admissible, and sometimes it can be proven that the testing equipment wasn’t properly maintained or there was an error in the way the test was given. In Miami, for example, a DUI conviction was overturned because it was proven the computer program that analyzed the breathalyzer results had an error in its programming code. The officers are also under strict guidelines as to how they submit evidence. What most people don’t realize when their license is suspended is that they have the right to subpoena the test results, the officer who administered the test, and the technician who analyzed your results. Failure to appear by any subpoenaed party will automatically invalidate the suspension.

To avoid a DUI penalty and possible license suspension, it’s important to consult with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the litigation process. To find possible defenses to your DUI conviction, contact The Law Office of Jerry Jenkins for a free case evaluation today.

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