As a parent, seeing your minor child arrested can feel overwhelming. You’re probably wondering how his future may be impacted, how he can get out of this situation, and how you can help.
Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know about juvenile arrests in Florida – and how you can support your child during this time.
- Your child should cooperate with the police to a certain extent, but that doesn’t mean that he must answer every question. If you can, remind your child that he shouldn’t answer questions about the offense until you or someone else can get there to help. Your child’s statement could be used against him.
- Florida law does allow a child to be questioned away from his parents. However, that doesn’t mean that what your child says can necessarily be used as evidence. A Florida judge must evaluate whether the child understood his or her constitutional rights before questioning result in a statement.
- Remember that your child always has the right to an attorney! He has the right to legal counsel before answering questions or making a statement. If your child’s charges are serious, you will want to contact a criminal defense attorney ASAP.
- Florida considers anyone under 18 to be a juvenile. But if charges are serious, your child could still be tried and sentenced as an adult. If this is a possibility, you certainly need an attorney’s help. The penalties could be quite severe.
- Your child cannot be put in prison without first being tried and convicted in adult court. However, if a court hearing is pending, your child may be placed in detention care. It’s unlawful for your child to be held more than 24 hours without a hearing to determine if the detention should last longer. See FindLaw.
- If there is reasonable cause to believe that your child committed a crime, he can lawfully be detained in a county jail (but only for up to six hours) for the purposes of being photographed and fingerprinted.
- When your child is charged, the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) will review the case. So will the state attorney. You will be contacted to discuss the case. Questions about your child’s background and the supposed criminal situation at hand are to be expected.
What Can You Do?
Every concerned parent wants to help his child. During a situation like this, the best thing you can do for your child is to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. It’s important to remember not to attempt to offer legal advice to your child before talking to an attorney. Even if you’re trying to help, you could mistakenly encourage your child to say something that the court could use as evidence against him.
An attorney like Donald A. Lykkebak can review your child’s case, identify the legal defenses, if any are available, and fight for his rights! Just because your child is arrested doesn’t mean his future is ruined. Call 407-425-4044 or contact us online for a free consultation.
390 N. Orange Ave., Suite 2300
Orlando, FL 32801
Winter Park Office:
250 S. Park Avenue, Suite 200
Winter Park, FL 32789