We have extensive experience in handling juvenile cases. I have handled hundreds of juvenile cases, some of which have received media attention. Please see video clip “No Jail Time in Attempted Murder Case” for the State of Florida vs. Samantha Broadhead. This is a case of a 12-year old girl who attempted to set her mother on fire as her mother was sleeping in bed. When I first took on the case, the whole world wanted to hang this young girl. The State was so determined to keep this 12-year old detained in custody that they attempted to circumvent the 21-day mandatory release rule that applies to juvenile cases. Through diligent searches of her juvenile records, extensive research, and legal motions for release of protected and confidential DCF records, I was able to show the court that this child was subjected to years of horrendous abuse. Ultimately, the State Attorney’s position changed dramatically, as well as did the position of the DCF and the various entities involved. I was able to convince them that my client, the child, was the true victim. I was able to convince the court ultimately to not convict my client for her actions, and to place her on probation and allow her to receive State-funded residential treatment and therapy for the psychological abuse she had suffered. This is one of many high-profile juvenile cases my office has handled. Contact us at (727) 344-5511 in Pinellas County or (813) 221-4400 in Hillsborough County for a free consultation, our phones are answered 24 hours a day.
Through experience I have learned that what may seem at first glance to be a dangerous criminal is often a damaged child acting as the direct consequences of the unfortunate circumstances that he or she found him/herself in. We are able to understand and balance the needs of that child as well as help prevent future criminal behavior, and assure the courts that criminal behavior will not occur again. Juvenile cases, if taken to trial in the juvenile system are decided by a Judge, instead of a jury in the state of Florida. I also understand the complex issues that involve a parent/child relationship and that interplay within the court. We have been hired on many cases where the mother or father was the victim in the case but hired us to help the child with their legal issues. We have a variety of counselors, anger management facilities, and drug dependency facilities that especially help the juveniles deal with the situation. I am very proud of the record I have achieved with my juvenile clients over the years.
I also understand the constant changes in the law regarding the confidentiality or lack thereof in juvenile cases. People need to understand that juvenile cases are no longer completely private and are subject to public view as well as subject to enhancement to adult charges prosecuted in adult court. Adult offenders frequently are surprised to hear that their juvenile record can be used against them in the adult court system if the offense occurred within a certain time frame. A criminal lawyer needs to be cognizant that a juvenile prior record can affect a child into adulthood. We also need to be cautious in handling a case in such a manner that it can be sealed or expunged so that it will not affect that juvenile in the future. Please call us at (727) 344-5511 in Pinellas County or (813) 221-4400 in Hillsborough County for a free consultation, our phones are answered 24 hours a day.