Juvenile Defense Attorneys
Kids get in trouble. It is part of being a teenager. Your son or daughter may be wrongfully accused of committing a crime or they may be guilty but you know that a criminal record can alter their life. That is why you are here. You are praying that you can find a juvenile defense attorney that knows the ins and outs of the juvenile justice system and that this juvenile defense lawyer can properly defend your child. Mr. Foley has a reputation of being knowledgeable about the law, knowing the players involved and being respected by all in the courtroom. Juvenile defense attorney Roger P. Foley has helped juveniles and teens with their criminal charges since he began his career in 2005. He has a straight forward approach to defending your child. The goal is to find the best way to help this particular child. The child that is charged in a criminal proceeding and is before a juvenile judge and a prosecutor needs someone with a strong voice and presence. Nobody needs another child lost in the system. Your child must be heard and must be humanized because they are not a number. That is what criminal defense attorneys are supposed to do. Our lawyers will stand beside your child, be their voice, humanize them and make sure they are not lost in the process of the system. Our defense attorneys are innovative in their approach because there is no uniform solution for all situations. Thinking out of the box is essential to helping our client.
Of course, some parents try to go at it alone or use the public defender to save money but you want a juvenile defense attorney that will have sufficient time to work on your kids case. Having a privately retained attorney that takes time to know and understand your child is helpful. More time can be placed on acquiring a positive result. Your child is not criminal, it was a mistake, and they don’t deserve to be treated like a common criminal. Our staff and attorneys will treat you and your child like family. We are here to help. We Don’t Judge-We Defend!
The Juvenile system provides a separate court system to handle minors who commit crimes. The main distinction between the Juvenile and Adult Criminal Systems is that the Juvenile Courts are more focused on rehabilitating our youth than punishing them. However, don’t be confused as the parents of those being “rehabilitated” often feel like they are in prison. Juveniles need to be brought to meetings, to rehabilitation, to probation appointments, to programs and to evaluations. The juvenile system can have negative consequences. You need a voice to articulate to the court the realities of what is needed to help the child.
In a Juvenile Court there is no right to a trial by jury. Children who are charged with a crime have no right to bail and can be detained in a juvenile jail for up to 21 days after arrest. If the alleged crime is a serious Felony, the minor can be held an additional 9 days. However, the Juvenile Courts work in conjunction with law enforcement, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), Prosecutors, and Defense Attorneys to rehabilitate children who are in trouble with the law. The Juvenile Court will do everything within its power to educate the child and deter the child from future criminal occurrences.
The State’s burden of proof in a Juvenile Court is the same as in adult court; the state has the burden to prove, beyond and to the exclusion of any reasonable doubt, that the juvenile committed the offense charged.
The Law Office of Roger P. Foley defends all criminal charges in the juvenile system. If your child is arrested, contact our office immediately. Don’t waste time with inexperienced attorneys when your child’s future is at stake. We will do our best and we know that “All things are possible through Christ that strengthens us”.
Juvenile cases that our office handles but is not limited to:
|All Drug Charges||Assault and Battery||Trespassing|
|Grand Theft||Petit Theft||Violent Crimes|
|Property Crimes||Rape||Alcohol Possession|
|Possession Fake ID||Resisting With Violence||Arson|
|Traffic Tickets||Battery on School Official||Sex crimes|
|Traffic Criminal Infractions||DUI||Possession|
|Drag Racing||Burglary||Expulsion Suspension Hearings|
|Probation Violations||School Board Hearings|
Questions and Answers for Parents and Minors
Question: What is Juvenile Court?
Answer: Juvenile Courts are assigned juvenile delinquency cases. Juveniles that are charged with crimes are sent to Juvenile Court to be prosecuted.
Question: Who does the court consider to be a juvenile?
Answer: Generally, the court considers minors (those under 18 years of age) to be juveniles and therefore eligible to have their criminal charges prosecuted in a juvenile court.
Question: If my child is alleged to have committed a crime does his/her case automatically go to a juvenile court?
Answer: No! There are circumstances where the State Attorney’s Office will file adult charges against your child, even if they are under 18 years of age. The state attorney may prosecute a minor as an adult when the charges are very serious,(Murder, Arson, Rape, etc.) or when a minor has continuous contact with the juvenile system, or when the minor is close to the age of 18. There State Attorney’s Office considers many factors when making the decision so it’s not automatic that your child will be kept in the juvenile system.
Question: Our family is not from the United States but are currently living here either legally or illegally- if someone in my family is under 18 years of age and charged with a crime will they be treated the same as a U.S. citizen?
Answer: Yes. Non-citizens, illegal and legal immigrants, are treated the same as U.S. citizens. Everybody charged with a crime in the U.S. is entitled to due process. Everyone has rights!
Question: What rights does a minor have in juvenile court? Are they the same as adults in adult court?
Answer: Juveniles have the right to an attorney. They have the right to remain silent and the right not to self incriminate themselves by taking the stand to testify (5th amendment). However, if a juvenile so desires he/she may testify and tell their story. Juveniles have a right to a trial but not a jury trial. The judge in juvenile court is both the Trier of fact and law. There is no jury. They have the right to confront and cross examine witnesses testifying against them and the right to call witnesses on their behalf.
Question: Does the juvenile court use the same standard of proof as adult court?
Answer: Yes. Beyond and to the exclusion of any reasonable doubt is the same standard used in juvenile and adult courts.
Question: If I am walking with friends and stopped by police, do I have to talk to the police?
Answer: Give the police your name and address. If you have ID and it is requested, give it to the police. However, remember anything else you say WILL be used against you. Don’t try to explain things as this will usually get you in trouble.
Question: If I am stopped by the police, can they search me or my belongings?
Answer: That depends on the situation; however, if the officer requests your consent to search you have the right to say, “No, I do not consent”. I would never recommend that anyone consent to a search. NOTE: If you are arrested, the police are allowed to search you for their safety and to inventory your belongings. Remember, you are not allowed to physically resist a police officer. NEVER push, touch, or physically resist an officer as this will usually get you beaten and charged with more serious crimes.
Question: Can my teacher, counselor or school personnel search me or my belongings?
Answer: School officials are not police officers, however, the power of school officials are increasing. Most schools have officers at the school or call police to conduct the search. Remember, you cannot physically resist but can assert your rights by stating, “I do not consent to you searching my belongings or person.” If school officials search you belongings illegally then your case may be subject to dismissed regardless of what they find. Your lawyer will be able to discuss the particular facts of your case with you and tell you whether your rights were violated.
Question: Can school personnel lie to me by telling me everything will be okay if I make a statement and then use that statement against me and have me arrested?
Answer: Yes. They can lie. Police can lie. They can say anything they want and they will always hold against you. Never answer questions without your attorney. Many people hear this over and over but when placed in the situation they talk anyway. According, they are arrested, suspended and expelled. DON’T TALK! If you do- you must understand that your statements will be used against you in court.
Question: Do I have a right to have my parents present if police are questioning me?
Answer: Absolutely. It’s your right so request it. However, the police do not have to remind you that it’s your right. It’s your burden to request your lawyer and your parent. The police prefer you speak to you without parents and without lawyers- don’t give into the pressure-immediately request your attorney. The moment you request an attorney, the police must stop asking you questions.
Juvenile Justice Under Florida Statutes
- Part II: Records & Information
- Part IV: Examinations & Evaluations
- Part V: Detention
- Part VI: Petition; Arraignment & Adjudication
- Part VIII: Authority of the Court Over Parents or Guardians
- Part IX: Appeal
- Part X: Transfer to Adult Court
- Part XII: Miscellaneous Offenses
- Part I (b): General Provisions 985.0301 – 985.0395
- Part III (a): Custody & Intake: 985.101 – 985.135
- Part III (b): Intervention & Diversion: 985.14 – 985.16
- Part VII (a): Disposition & Postdisposition: 985.43 – 985.45
- Part VII (b): Disposition & Postdisposition: 985.455 – 985.475
- Part VII (c): Disposition & Postdisposition: 985.48 – 985.4815
- Part I (a): General Provisions: 985.01 – 985.03
- Part XI (a): Department of Juvenile Justice: 985.601 – 985.618
- Part XI (b): Department of Juvenile Justice: 985.622 – 985.644
- Part XI (c): Department of Juvenile Justice: 985.645 – 985.672
- Part XI (d): Department of Juvenile Justice: 985.676 – 985.694
- Part XIII (b): Interstate Compact on Juveniles: 985.8025 – 985.807
- Part XIII (a): Interstate Compact on Juveniles: 985.801 – 985.802
- Part VII (d): Disposition & Postdisposition: 985.483 – 985.494