Four South Georgia teens were recently arrested and charged with breaking into a business and stealing 17 handguns. Police in Blackshear arrested three 17-year-olds and a 15-year-old, the Florida Times-Union reports.
For hardened criminals who have multiple convictions, they have made choices again and again that leave them punished in the Florida criminal justice system. But for juveniles charged in Jacksonville, they deserve compassion and leniency not typically afforded to adults. And that requires an advocate and someone who will stand by their side and fight for their rights — a Jacksonville Juvenile Defense Lawyer.
The juveniles in Blackshear face charges of burglary, theft by taking, second-degree criminal damage to property and possession of burglary tools. If charged as adults, they could be punished with decades in prison if the charges are proven and the sentences are maxed out.
Of course, the justice system recognizes that there is a difference between juveniles and adults when it comes to crime. But sometimes, prosecutors attempt to blur the line and charge juveniles in the adult system because of political pressure or pressure from the media and the public.
An experienced lawyer will petition to get a juvenile charged in the juvenile system rather than the adult criminal justice system. That’s because the juvenile system is designed to rehabilitate a defendant, while the criminal system seeks only to punish.
The benefits of being charged in the juvenile system are plentiful. They include having the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice control much of the possible penalties, rather than the prosecutor or the judge. And penalties including community service and work camps rather than prison.
But a diligent Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney won’t stop at just getting a juvenile defendant into the juvenile system. Beating the charges or greatly reducing them is also the job of an attorney hired to defend teenagers.
That’s because picking up a conviction as a teenager can have severe long-term effects. too often parents think such charges magically disappear in adulthood. That is often not the case. Issues obtaining college scholarships or working in certain career fields may also result from having a criminal record.
For those not interested in school, there are cases where the United States armed forces won’t consider teenagers for enlistment if they have a criminal record. While juvenile records are protected under law, there are ways for government agencies and others to sometimes get access to them.
That’s why aggressively fighting these charges is so important. And while parents want to protect their children at all costs, sometimes they can make things worse. The first thing you should do is consult with an attorney, who can use their experience and knowledge to help you make the best decisions for your child.
The Forbess Law Firm has been helping clients facing criminal charges in Jacksonville for more than a decade and are here to provide criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today through our website. Or call us at 904-634-0900.
Four Blackshear teenagers charged in gun theft, by Teresa Stepzinski, The Florida Times-Union