Proposed Florida law targets juveniles charged with gun crimes

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

The juvenile justice system differs from the adult system and it is important for young defendants to have a tailored defense. It is wise to understand the laws and potential changes that could be on the way. That is the case with juvenile gun charges as the penalties might become more severe.

Florida House passes bill to make juvenile gun penalties harsher

A bill to strengthen the penalties given to juveniles facing certain gun charges passed in the Florida House of Representatives by a wide margin. Under current law, a juvenile arrested for a crime using a gun is charged with a misdemeanor. If this law goes into effect, that will become a third-degree felony.

Other aspects include juveniles arrested for gun crimes being held for at least 60 days as they wait for an adjudicatory hearing. Critics believe this violates their rights and is too stringent a punishment for alleged crimes. Others point out that juveniles who are held before trial are one-third likelier to re-offend.

Supporters believe that the tougher penalties would hold juveniles accountable and show them there can be severe ramifications for their actions despite their age. Law enforcement helped with crafting the bill. One sheriff pointed out that juvenile gun crimes are on the rise. A similar form of the proposal will be considered by the Florida Senate before heading to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Juveniles can face long-term problems for criminal convictions

Juveniles who are confronted with allegations of illegal behavior of any kind need to be aware of how it can hinder them in the future. This is true for all areas of criminal law including gun charges, violence, driving under the influence and any other criminal allegation.

Regardless of the penalties that can be assessed, it is imperative to formulate a viable strategy to seek a positive outcome. Since a conviction can negatively impact them as they strive to build a life, get an education, seek employment and more, knowing how to address criminal accusations is critical and an effective criminal defense can make a major difference.