Free Case Evaluation

Juvenile Defense 

James Coulter Juvenile Deffense Attorney

It can be an extremely stressful and confusing time for parents when they learn that their child has been charged with a crime in Florida. There are many concerns not only about a child’s immediate future but also the long-term impact any charges will have on his or her criminal record.

While more severe cases can indeed involve some harsh penalties that may include fines or imprisonment, the Sunshine State generally takes a more rehabilitative approach to minors accused of criminal offenses. The justice process for alleged juvenile offenders is very complicated and entire families can understandably feel overwhelmed in trying to understand what their options truly are. 

Melbourne Juvenile Defense Lawyer

If your child has been arrested in Central Florida for any kind of criminal offense, you can give yourself the best chance of securing the most favorable outcome to his or her case by immediately retaining legal counsel. The Law Offices of James B. Coulter has handled scores of criminal charges against minors from the perspective of both sides of the aisle, and our background gives us a unique insight into the most effective ways to handle these types of cases.

Our Brevard County juvenile defense attorney helps minors who are residents of the greater Melbourne area as well as youths who were arrested here but live in other states. You can have our firm provide an honest and complete evaluation of your case by calling (321) 586-9944 right how to take advantage of a free consultation.

Florida Juvenile Defense Information Center

Back to top

Terms Used in Brevard County Juvenile Defense

In the Florida Statutes, the terms “child,” “juvenile,” and “youth” all refer to any person under the age of 18 or any person who is alleged to have committed a violation of law occurring prior to the time that he or she reached the age of 18 years. The distinction between underage alleged offenders and adults is important because the courts generally take a completely different approach with the most effective manner of resolving these types of cases.

Our firm has additional information about specific subjects relating to juvenile crimes, including:

Back to top

Common Crimes Requiring Juvenile Defense in Satellite Beach, Florida

Technically, a juvenile is just as capable of breaking any law as an adult. However, many young people in Florida are more commonly charged with certain crimes than others.

Some of the most frequent crimes that alleged juvenile offenders are accused of in Florida include, but are not limited to:

  • Actual or Constructive Possession of a Controlled Substance;
  • Assault;
  • Battery;
  • Criminal Mischief;
  • Criminal Trespass;
  • Disorderly Conduct;
  • Fake ID Charges;
  • Identity Theft;
  • Petit Theft;
  • Petty Theft;
  • Resisting an Officer With Violence;
  • Resisting an Officer Without Violence (ROWOV);
  • Sex-Related Offenses;
  • Shoplifting;
  • Traffic Offenses;
  • Underage Driving Under the Influence (DUI); or
  • Underage Possession of Alcoholic Beverages.

Back to top

Brevard County Juvenile Charges Filed in Adult Court

Many alleged youth offenders can have their juvenile criminal records automatically expunged once they turn 24 years of age. However, those who are considered Habitual Juvenile Offenders are not eligible to have their records expunged until they turn 26, and alleged juvenile offenders who commit a forcible felony after the age of 17 will have their juvenile records merged with their adult records.

Not every case involving an alleged youth offender stays in the juvenile court. There are essentially four ways in which a case may be transferred to an adult court:

  • Grand Jury Indictment — Under Florida Statute § 985.56, a petition for delinquency can be dismissed and the juvenile will be tried and handled in every respect as an adult if a grand jury determines he or she allegedly committed an offense punishable by death or by life imprisonment.
  • Waiver of Jurisdiction — This is a motion made by a prosecutor to have a case involving a juvenile who is at least 14 years of age transferred to the adult court. The juvenile court judge has to review and approve this waiver.
  • Discretionary Direct File — Under Florida Statute § 985.557(1), a state attorney can file information when, in his or her judgment and discretion, the public interest requires that adult sanctions be considered or imposed for certain alleged offenses.
  • Mandatory Direct File — Under Florida Statute § 985.557(2), certain alleged juvenile offenders may be required under state law to be tried as an adult for certain alleged offenses.

State attorneys and prosecutors have considerable power to direct file juvenile cases to adult court, and the decisions to direct file these cases cannot be overruled by judges or appealed by defense lawyers. This makes it critical for all alleged offenders to have attorneys working to keep their cases in juvenile courts as soon as possible.

Back to top

Florida Juvenile Defense Resources

Teen Court | Eighteenth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida — This is a voluntary diversion program from Juvenile Court or school suspension and provides a forum for alleged offenders to explain their involvement in criminal offenses in a structured environment in which their words and actions are evaluated and judged by a jury of their peers. The website contains a list of the fundamental principles of the teen court and you can also watch a video about the proceedings.

50 Nieman Avenue
Melbourne, Florida 32935
(321) 617-7294

Juvenile Court | Brevard County, Florida — This website provides an overview of juvenile court programs, including delinquency, dependency, and truancy court. There is also Children-in-Need-of-Services (CINS) and Families-in-Need-of-Services (FINS) information. You can watch videos about tales from delinquency court and crime and consequences.

Youth Programs | Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) — This DJJ web page provides information about various Florida youth programs, including the Florida Network of Youth and Family Services, Inc. for CINS and FINS, the Practical Academic Cultural Education (PACE) Center for Girls, Inc., the Florida Youth Challenge Academy (FLYCA), the North Carolina Outward Bound School (NCOBS), the Florida Alliance For Boys & Girls Club, Inc., Prodigy, and the Big Brothers Big Sisters Association of Florida, Inc. There are also links to the Drug Rehab Guide, Treatment 4 Addiction, teen drug rehab, the Florida Runaway Hotline, and the National Runaway Switchboard.

Back to top

The Law Offices of James B. Coulter A Juvenile Defense Lawyer in Palm Bay, Florida

Has your child been arrested for allegedly committing a crime in Central Florida? Do not waste any time in seeking legal representation.

The The Law Offices of James B. Coulter defends youths all over the Brevard County as well as juveniles who were charged with allegedly committing criminal offenses while visiting from other states. Our Melbourne juvenile defense attorney can review your case to help you understand your options as soon as you call (321) 586-9944 today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.

Free Case Evaluation
Our Office Location
Law Offices of James B. Coulter
1402 Highway A1A, Ste A Satellite Beach , FL 32937
American Bar Association
Florida Justice Association
Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity
Brevard County Bar Association

Avvo - Rate your Lawyer. Get Free Legal Advice.
Notable Achievements
2013 Avvo Client's Choice in Car Accident Attorneys
The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers
American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys 10 Best 2015

American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys 10 Best 2015
The information provided on this website is for general information purposes only. The legal information you obtain at this website is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult a criminal defense lawyer in Orlando, FL, for advice regarding your own individual situation.
We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us, however, does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until after an attorney-client relationship has been established.