Committing a crime while under the age of eighteen places you in the category of a juvenile, and while this carries with it significantly reduced penalties from those of an adult, it’s still not an experience one wants to have. When determining the severity of your case, there are a few things that go into the consideration of sentencing; however, it is our hope that through our efforts, your sentencing will be reduced, or your case outright removed.
Factors in Sentencing
In certain circumstances, the arresting officer may decide to waive any charges and proceed with a warning, but in the event that the officer takes your actions and charges you with a crime, then there are a few factors that may change what happens after.
- Age of offender
- Severity of crime committed
- Evidence against the offender
Right off the bat age is a determining factor because it categorizes the offender as a juvenile. Going beyond this, a judge may see someone close to the age of eighteen as far more responsible for their actions and therefore give them a harsher sentencing. On the other hand, someone who is considerably younger than eighteen may be viewed in a different light, thus increasing the likelihood of a smaller sentencing.
As with an adult, charging a juvenile with a crime drastically changes depending on the crime committed. In the state of Florida, theft and burglary carry lesser penalties than DUI or drug crime, and as a juvenile, this rule still applies. So if you’ve been arrested for a particular crime, there is going to be a difference in how much lenience the court will give you.
Have you been convicted of crimes before the current incident? These are priors, and they are a heavy burden in sentencing, as the aim for the prior crimes was to teach a lesson. By showing that there was no lesson learned, and you continue to commit crimes, there will be much stronger penalties against you. Being convicted of multiple crimes as a juvenile can actually reach the point where you may be tried as an adult, which means a higher penalty than normal.
Lastly, your strength of case is reliant upon the evidence gathered by the arresting officer and the investigation team. Being a juvenile, but having strong evidence against you, can negate the benefit you get from being under the legal age. Your only solace when it comes to evidence is that there is not substantial amounts of it, and that there is some weakness in it.
All of these factors combine to give juveniles a unique court experience and sentencing. Regardless of the crime you commit, we have ample opportunity to discuss what to do with your case going forward. We assure you that Patrick Grozinger is highly qualified to handle a criminal case, and should be your premier choice to defend you in your case. Contact us today to find out how we can aid you in dealing with your charges.