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Juvenile Crimes
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Orlando Juvenile Defense Attorney

A Brief Summary of the Following Article:

  • Legal Support: The complexity of Florida’s legal system can overwhelm parents whose children face criminal charges. A skilled juvenile defense attorney can help you navigate the process and fight for justice.
  • Juvenile Penalties: Understanding the penalties for juvenile crimes in Florida, including probation and its strict requirements, is vital for parents to grasp the potential consequences and the importance of legal defense to advocate for more rehabilitative measures.
  • Juvenile vs. Adult Court: Florida’s “discretionary direct filing” allows prosecutors to try minors as adults for serious felonies without a judge’s consent, highlighting the importance of strategic legal defense to protect minors’ futures.
  • The Wiseman Law Firm: Specializing in defending young individuals against criminal charges, The Wiseman Law Firm, led by Simon Wiseman, offers personalized legal strategies aimed at rehabilitation and securing a promising future for minors.

When a child faces criminal charges, the experience can be deeply unsettling for parents. Florida’s legal system is complex, and it may feel impossible to protect your child’s future alone. During these challenging times, the experienced guidance of a skilled juvenile criminal defense attorney is essential. An attorney can review your child’s case and fight aggressively for justice on their behalf. 

At The Wiseman Law Firm, our founding attorney, Simon Wiseman, has been practicing law for over 23 years and is committed to helping his clients navigate Florida’s intricate Juvenile justice system. He has a passion for trial work and an established history of achieving the best possible outcomes for his clients in Orlando and the neighboring areas. When you partner with him, you can have peace of mind your child’s case is being handled by a seasoned and successful legal professional. 

How Our Highly Qualified Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help You

Every young person deserves a vigorous defense when facing criminal charges. At The Wiseman Law Firm, our dedicated attorney is passionate about protecting your child’s rights and can support your case in the following ways:

Legal Guidance

From the moment you retain our services, we will provide experienced legal counsel and clear guidance. We can explain potential consequences, and the legal process, to ensure you understand your child’s rights and choices. Our goal is to build a relationship based on trust and confidentiality, giving you peace of mind your child’s future is in reliable hands.

Case Investigation

Investigating the details of your case and collecting evidence is at the center of our strategy. Our team meticulously reviews the prosecution’s evidence, and we often collaborate with expert witnesses to find discrepancies or evidence that may weaken the prosecution’s claims.

Tailoring Your Child’s Defense

Based on our investigative findings and the details surrounding your child’s case, we will craft a defense strategy tailored to your needs. This may include challenging the prosecution’s evidence, presenting alibis, or arguing your child’s actions were taken in self-defense or due to coercion.

Negotiation and Plea Bargains

Many juvenile cases are resolved without a trial. Our team is skilled in negotiating with prosecutors to potentially secure a plea deal that reduces the charges or the sentence your child may face. With this approach, you may be able to avoid the uncertainties of a trial and aim for an outcome that protects your child’s future.

Courtroom Advocacy

If the case goes to a hearing or trial, our juvenile defense attorney will be your child’s aggressive advocate in court. Attorney Wiseman rigorously questions witnesses, introduces evidence, and argues persuasively to undermine the prosecution’s case. His goal is to cast doubt on the prosecution’s case, striving for a verdict in your favor.

At The Wiseman Law Firm, we understand the impact criminal charges can have on a young person’s life, and we’re dedicated to fighting for a future that remains full of promise.

Was Your Child Arrested for a Crime in Florida?

Juvenile crimes are those committed by individuals under 18. These cases are typically handled by the juvenile justice system, which is focused on rehabilitation rather than punishment. Juvenile crimes can fall under many of the same categories as those faced by adults.

The following are examples of some of the most common juvenile crimes:

Young people often make mistakes or sometimes end up in the wrong place at the wrong time. No matter what your child’s charges entail, it is important to consult an attorney with in-depth experience navigating the juvenile justice system. At The Wiseman Law Firm, we know how to defend minors against juvenile criminal charges and how to find effective ways to protect their future.

What Are My Child’s Legal Rights After Being Charged With a Crime in Florida?

Although minors are typically tried separately, they have similar rights to the criminal justice system of adults. Juveniles in Florida are entitled to the following:

Right to Remain Silent

Juveniles are not obligated to answer questions from police officers about their whereabouts or activities. They may decline to speak until their parent, guardian, or attorney is present. 

Right to Probable Cause

Police cannot search a juvenile’s person or property without a warrant, consent, or probable cause. Searches conducted without probable cause may render any seized evidence inadmissible in court.

Right to Avoid Self-Incrimination

A juvenile has the right to avoid self-incrimination by invoking the Fifth Amendment, which allows them to refuse to answer questions that could lead to their own incrimination. It is always in your best interest for your child to avoid speaking to the police until their attorney is at their side. 

Right to Make Phone Calls

Upon detention, juveniles have the right to make several phone calls to reach a responsible adult, unlike adults who are typically allowed only one call. This process can continue until they successfully contact someone. This difference can help ensure your child does not have to face their charges alone. 

Right to Legal Representation

Juveniles have the same rights as adults to consult with an attorney. If they cannot afford one, the state must provide a public defender. A juvenile can choose to speak to an attorney before contacting their parents. If a juvenile requests a lawyer, police must cease all interrogations until the attorney is present. Any information gathered from the child in the absence of their lawyer may be deemed inadmissible.

At The Wiseman Law Firm, we are committed to helping you and your child understand and safeguard their rights. Our attorney will do everything in his power to defend your child throughout the legal process. 

Penalties for Juvenile Crimes in Florida

Juvenile offenders are usually placed on probation instead of sent to jail like their adult counterparts. They will be assigned a Juvenile Probation Officer who will monitor their actions to ensure they fulfill the strict requirements imposed by the court.

These requirements may include a combination of any of the following:

  • School attendance without any suspensions or unexcused absences
  • Avoiding contact with anyone, including their friends, who the court determines to be a bad influence
  • Mandatory participation in counseling and/or community service
  • Frequent and random urine tests to check for drug or alcohol use
  • Adherence to a strict curfew imposed by the court
  • Financial restitution paid to the victims to compensate them for injuries or property damage
  • Suspension of the child’s driver’s license

Probation terms are set so the child can prove they are trustworthy and will not commit other crimes in the future. Those who do not follow the rules, or even accidentally violate any of the terms, may face additional consequences for violating the terms of their probation. This means your child’s probation officer will attempt to hold your child in contempt of court, which can lead to a sentence of 5 to 15 days in a juvenile detention center or removal from their family home to be placed in a state-run juvenile facility.

Whether your child is facing an initial charge or a violation of the terms of their probation, The Wiseman Law Firm can help. We can argue for reasonable terms or help prove your child did not willfully violate their probation. We take care to make sure every client gets the dedicated legal help they need.

When Can a Minor Be Tried as an Adult in Florida?

In Florida, the process of deciding whether a young person is tried as an adult differs from that in many other states. Specifically, Florida permits what is known as “discretionary direct filing,” where prosecutors have the authority to escalate a minor’s case to adult court without requiring a judge’s consent. 

Even if the child is only 14 or 15 years old, they may be tried as an adult if they are charged with one of the following felony offenses:

  • Arson
  • Sexual battery
  • Robbery
  • Kidnapping
  • Armed burglary
  • Use or display of a firearm during the commission of a felony
  • Grand theft
  • Murder
  • Manslaughter

Fortunately, this process is not automatic. Before proceeding with a discretionary direct file to try a child as an adult, prosecutors may consider several factors, including the following:

  • The juvenile’s age
  • Arrest and conviction history
  • The juvenile’s specific role in the offense
  • The severity and circumstances of the crime

If your child is age 16 or 17, the criteria for a discretionary direct file broaden significantly, and the child can be charged as an adult for any felony. At The Wiseman Law Firm, we can negotiate with the prosecution on your child’s behalf to ensure they are not unfairly tried as an adult. We understand how stressful this situation is for your family and will do everything in our power to safeguard your child as they navigate the legal process. 

Defending Your Child’s Future In Florida

An important consideration in all juvenile crime cases is the impact of the criminal charges on the minor’s future. Our goal is to find solutions that do not include jail time so your child’s future is not compromised. Your child needs the right treatment, not to be put in a detention center. 

We work towards securing non-incarceration sentencing options such as rehabilitation, community service, diversion programs, and other alternatives available to you. We do everything possible to keep your child out of jail and keep his or her record clean.

Is your child facing criminal charges? Contact us at 407-420-4647 to benefit from a firm dedicated to defending your child’s future.

Florida’s Juvenile Justice Process

When a child is accused of a crime, many families have questions about the legal process. Typically, juvenile cases proceed quicker than adult cases in Florida because they are decided by judges rather than juries. The steps of the juvenile justice process are as follows:

Arrest and Detention Process

Upon arrest, minors are taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center where a Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) counselor determines eligibility for secure or non-secure detention. Non-secure detention allows release to parents but requires daily supervision, and non-compliance may lead to secure detention. 

Detention Hearing

A detention hearing occurs within 24 hours if the minor is held overnight. The judge decides on release or detention and sets conditions if released. Detention cannot exceed 21 days, except in rare cases up to 30 days. 

Intake and Charges

Following an arrest, the State Attorney will review the details of your child’s case to decide on filing charges. If there is sufficient evidence, a petition outlining the charges will be filed.


Approximately three weeks post-arrest, the minor will be formally charged and asked to plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest in an arraignment. Quality legal advice is crucial here to understand the charges and decide the best plea. At The Wiseman Law Firm, our seasoned attorney cares deeply about your child’s future and will advise you on the best path forward to protect their rights. 


Between arraignment and trial, the discovery phase allows both defense and prosecution to exchange evidence and take testimonies from witnesses and the victim. The State Attorney is legally obligated to provide any documents, recordings, or other evidence they have to the defense. 

Pretrial Diversion Programs

First-time offenders may qualify for diversion programs in lieu of formal charges if the minor complies with specific conditions like community service and counseling. Non-compliance leads to full prosecution under the law.

Plea Negotiations

Plea negotiations may allow a juvenile to change their plea to guilty or no contest, avoiding trial and moving directly to sentencing. Sometimes, reaching a plea deal can help reduce potential consequences for your child. Your attorney can help you determine the best possible outcome for your child’s unique situation and advise you accordingly. 


Without a plea deal, the case goes to trial where a judge determines the verdict without a jury. The prosecution must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Witnesses are subpoenaed and cross-examined and both the defense and State attorney will have the opportunity to argue their case. 

Verdict and Predisposition Reports

After the trial, the judge will issue a verdict. If the defendant is found guilty, the judge may request a predisposition report from the DJJ. This report delves into the juvenile’s background, criminal history, and family situation, and includes a sentencing recommendation. However, predisposition reports are not mandatory for all cases.

Dispositional Hearings

Following the verdict, a dispositional or sentencing hearing is conducted where the judge decides the appropriate sentence based on the crime and related circumstances. The court maintains jurisdiction over the juvenile until they reach 19 years of age, and in some cases, up to 21 years of age.

Sentencing Options

The judge has two primary sentencing options:

  • Probation: Probation typically includes conditions like community service, mandatory counseling, and writing a letter of apology.
  • Commitment: The judge may commit the juvenile to DJJ, choosing from four levels of commitment programs based on the severity of the crime:
    • Low-risk (30-45 days)
    • Moderate risk (4-6 months)
    • High-risk (6-9 months)
    • Juvenile prison (18-36 months)

Your attorney will review potential sentences with you and your child and take every step possible to defend their rights and future.

Why Choose Our Juvenile Crime Defense Attorney?

If your child has been charged with a crime in Florida, it is essential to have a seasoned criminal defense attorney on your side. A few factors that set our firm apart include the following:

  • Over 23 years of trial-tested experience, including work as a former prosecutor handling high-profile cases
  • 24-hour availability to help when you need us most
  • Free confidential case consultations and defense solutions tailored to your child’s unique circumstances
  • A well-earned reputation from former clients and our legal peers, including recognition by the Avvo Clients’ Choice Award

Choosing a proven and experienced attorney knowledgeable in the area of juvenile crime is absolutely critical. Our Orlando juvenile criminal defense attorney regularly represents minors facing criminal charges and has guided many families through the juvenile courts, providing compassionate yet aggressive defense.

Speak With a Seasoned Orlando, FL Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorney at The Wiseman Law Firm

At The Wiseman Law Firm, we specialize in defending the rights of young individuals facing criminal charges in Florida. Led by the renowned Simon Wiseman, our team possesses extensive experience and a deep commitment to securing a positive future for our clients. We understand the unique challenges of juvenile law and approach each case with the sensitivity and thoroughness it deserves. By developing a personalized defense strategy, we strive to ensure the best possible outcome for your child’s case, focusing on rehabilitation and growth.

Facing juvenile charges can be daunting, but you do not have to navigate this challenging time alone. Contact us for a free consultation at (407) 420-4647 or through our contact form

Why The Wiseman Firm Is Different

Tough & Tested Defense On Your Side

24-Hour Availability

We make it our priority to be accessible to clients. Available 24 hours a day, we will keep you continually updated on your case.

Proven Results

With experience as a former prosecutor, Attorney Wiseman has secured many successful results in high-stakes criminal cases.

Sterling Reputation

Our law firm comes strongly recommended by past clients and by peers in the legal community. We are known for thorough preparation.

Trial-Tested Experience

A former prosecutor, Attorney Wiseman brings over two decades' experience to each case, successfully advocating for his clients' rights.

Client Testimonials

On Your Side Every Step Of The Way

“I will 100% be recommending him to friends”
- Kylar Moody
“I won’t go anywhere else!”
- Reece Storey
“If it hadn’t been for Simon and his team, I don’t know what I would have done.”
- Anonymous
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