Juveniles may find themselves in trouble with the law for committing everything from minor misdemeanors to serious felonies. Nonviolent juvenile offenders might face harsh charges in Florida for property or drug crimes. Such penalties could have the reverse effect than seemingly more lenient programs. Access to mental health services and other treatment programs might keep young people from becoming repeat offenders and habitual criminals.
Treatment programs intended to help young persons
When a juvenile commits a crime, they should expect to face the consequences. Those without a lengthy criminal history may receive probation, and aggressive probation supervision steps combined with frequent drug testing might help lead the young person from violating probation and committing more crimes. However, a jail sentence might send the juvenile down a worse path.
Public sentiments often go in both directions. Some advocate tougher sentencing for juvenile offenders, while others prefer alternatives, such as counseling and diversion programs. Ultimately, a juvenile must deal with the current legal jeopardy he or she faces.
Juvenile offenders and the criminal justice system
Persons who commit juvenile crimes have a right to due process and representation by an attorney. Unfortunately, young persons may find interactions with the police involve dishonest tactics where the police lie to procure evidence and confessions. Navigating such an environment could be difficult for someone with limited life experience and no knowledge of criminal defense law.
Even when the case against a juvenile offender seems daunting, there could be options available. Plea bargain agreements might save the young person from a lengthy prison sentence. A compelling argument during a parole or probation violation hearing may help the offender as well.