Criminal Lawyer Straight Talk For Kids

Fort Lauderdale Juvenile Lawyer Tells You The Facts

 I'm Charged with a Juvenile Crime In Fort Lauderdale?

 Juvenile Crimes Are Not Adult Crimes

If you are under 18 and break the law, you will be charged with a juvenile crime.  Your case will be handled by the Juvenile System, including Juvenile Corrections and Juvenile Court in Broward County.  This is true even if you are emancipated.

Yes, You Can Be Charged As An Adult
You charged as an adult only if the  District Attorney has asked for a hearing to have the your case transferred to adult court.  This may happen  if you are charged with a serious crime such as murder, attempted murder,  or a serious felony that involves violence or weapons.  

The First Things We Look At And Have To Deal With Are

1. The  arrest

2. The Summons

We will be dealing with the charge you are being accused of, the time and date for court appearance, and the court location You must go to Court when the Summons tells you to or else a bench warrant will be  issued for your arrest.

If an arrest is made you will be put "in custody" by the police, or brought to a detention facility.

 If the police say you are not free to leave, then you have been arrested. 

If you are arrested, a Ft Lauderdale  police officer or Juvenile Community Corrections Officer must contact one of your parents or your legal guardian.

The police can only arrest  you for a certain length of time.

The Police Will Start Asking You Questions

If the police ask, you must tell the officer your real name, date of birth and address. You do not have to tell the officer anything else.  If you are under arrest, and the police want to question you, they must first notify your parent or legal guardian. 

You have the right to remain silent.  This means you do not have to answer any questions.  You also have the right to ask for a lawyer.  If you ask for a lawyer, the police must to stop asking you questions. 


Now You Should Hire A Juvenile Lawyer

You have the right to a lawyer, and it is important to ask for one. If you do not ask for one, your parents can ask for you. Asking for a lawyer does not mean that you think you are guilty. I  can tell you what you should or should not answer. When the police question you, they do not have to tell the truth. They are trained to use interrogation techniques, such as making up facts or evidence that can be used against you.  This is why you must retain a lawyer.


One of your parents or your legal guardian must attend all court proceedings in your juvenile case.  You should have retained a lawyer by now.

What Will Happen Next?


You can get an unconditional Release

you are released from custody
you do not have to follow any conditions
you have to promise to come to court on your scheduled date

You Can Get a conditional Release to Your Home

you must live at home
you must follow the conditions placed on you until your Court date
if you do not follow the conditions, you can be arrested or detained

You Can Get A Conditional Release to Placement

you are released to a facility (a group home, emergency shelter, or foster care) until your court date
you must follow the conditions placed on you until your Court date
if you do not follow the conditions, you can be arrested or detained

You can be detained and  placed in a juvenile detention facility. You will have a detention hearing. Your lawyer should be with you for this. You will have the chance to admit to or deny the charge and must talk to an attorney before you do this!If you admit to the charge, you have been “adjudicated,” and the Court will move to the “disposition”





You are adjudicated if you formally “admit” to the juvenile offense in Court, or you are found, after a hearing by the Judge, to have committed the offense. An adjudication is not a conviction. .

There Will Be An Adjudication Hearing

Most cases settle and never go to hearing. But if you deny the charge and have a hearing, the State must prove that you committed the offense. You have a right to defend yourself and have a lawyer represent you. There is no jury, just a Judge. If the Judge finds that you committed the offense, then you are “adjudged” guilty. Your case will then move on to a “dispositional” hearing. The dispositional hearing may be on a different day from your adjudication hearing.

Disposition Hearing

Instead of getting sentenced, you will get a "dispositon."  The main goal of a disposition is to rehabilitate you.

Possible Disposition Conditions

Dispositions are supposed to rehabilitate you.  You can be ordered to do a variety of things.

The most common disposition is a "suspended commitment" with probation.  This means that you are not sent to a detention facility unless your break your conditions of probation.

The Long Term Process

If you finish the detention facility’s program and are released, you are still under the supervision of the detention center. 

For more information, contact Guy Seligman local Ft Lauderdale juvenile  defense