We have extensive experience in handling juvenile cases, some of which have received media attention: 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. The State was 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, our office 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 the position of the DCF and the various entities involved. Our office was able to convince them that my client, the child, was the true victim. Mr. Futerman 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.
Our Understanding of the Complex Nature Juvenile Issues
Through our experience, what many may see as a dangerous criminal is often a damaged child acting as the direct consequences of the unfortunate circumstances that he/she found him/herself in. We can understand and balance the needs of that child, as well as help prevent future criminal behavior, while assuring the court that the 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. Our office understands the complex issues that involve a parent/child relationship and that interplay within the court. Our office has experience and relationships with a variety of counselors, anger management facilities, and drug dependency facilities that specialize in assisting juveniles.
Protecting the Child’s Future/ Sealing & Expungements
Our office understands the constant changes in the law regarding confidentiality in juvenile cases. The law has changed so that juvenile cases are no longer completely private and are subject to public view, as well as enhancement to adult charges prosecuted in adult court. Adult offenders are often 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 aware that a juvenile prior record can affect a child into adulthood. Our office is 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.