16-Year-Old Faces Juvenile Charges In Infant Beating

A teenager faces charges of aggravated child abuse after an infant was taken to the hospital with severe injuries, First Coast News reports.

Teenagers who face criminal charges must get representation from an experienced Jacksonville juvenile defense lawyer because when people are arrested for a juvenile crime in Jacksonville, a lot in their world changes.For instance, they are subjected to incarceration — perhaps up to 21 days — and now are thrown into a world that may be foreign to them. That is, being handcuffed, clothed in a jumpsuit and brought before a judge, who has the task, along with juvenile justice officials, of determining how best to deal with them.

If they are charged as a minor, they can face sanctions such as community service, a work camp situation, house arrest or others that are aimed at teen rehabilitation in an effort to stop them from committing a crime in the future.

But if they are charged as an adult — which depends on their age, the severity of the crime and past criminal history — it’s a whole other story. These teenagers face the same difficult penalties that adult defendants face, which means they could be subjected to prison time.

According to this story, the teenager was arrested while he was at home with an infant he said fell from a bad when the teen was playing a game. When officials arrived, they performed CPR and took the infant to the hospital.

Police said that the distance between the bed and the floor — 20 inches — didn’t match up with the injuries the baby sustained. He now faces a charge of aggravated child abuse. According to Florida Statutes 827.03, aggravated child abuse is a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison. To commit the crime, a person must commit aggravated battery on a child, tortures or punishes a child, or abuses a child to cause great bodily harm, disability or disfigurement.

This is a serious charge that, obviously, is punishable by many years in prison. Even for a 16-year-old, it may be difficult for an attorney to convince prosecutors to pursue charges as a juvenile instead of as an adult. The facts of a case are a big factor in which system the teenager ends up in — juvenile or adult.

But an experienced Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer can use years of expertise in defending these types of cases to help a teen fight against allegations that could ruin their future. They have many rights and these must be upheld at every critical stage of the proceeding. Regardless of the age of the defendant, the prosecution still must prove the allegations beyond all reasonable doubt.


The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for more than a decade and is here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one requires a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.

More Blog Entries:

Two Jacksonville Teens Charged With Cat Torture: September 25, 2011
Teen Faces Attempted Murder Charge in Westside Shooting: August 18, 2011