What am i facing as a minor for the first time offense of burglary?

Asked about 3 years ago - Davenport, FL

this is my first time ever being in trouble and i'm about to turn 18 i'm really scared about the outcome the whole situation..the charges have been dropped to mistometer..

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Michael Lewis Bowdish

    Contributor Level 8

    Answered . If the burglary was dropped to a misdemeanor and your case remains in juvenile court, then the worst is behind you. If you are ever charged as an adult, you should be really scared. Keeping your case in juvenile court, will help hide juvenile trouble from future employers. Also, the goal of juvenile court is rehabilitation. You are likely facing a short probation term with community service and perhaps a letter of apology.
    If you were charged as an adult for burglary to a residence, you would be facing prison. Your lawyer would have to work very hard to convince the prosecutor to offer probation.--And the lawyer would be expensive. Because you are in juvenile court, I think you will be OK if you follow the rules. Just be very careful when you turn 18!

  2. Aaron J. Slavin

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . If your charge has already been dropped to a Misdemeanor, it was probably reduced from a Burglary to a Trespass (or other similar-type Misdemeanor). The maximum punishment on a First Degree Misdemeanor in the State of Florida is 1 year in the County Jail or 1 year probation or a $1,000.00 Fine (or a combination of those).

    However, a first time offender usually does not receive anything close to the maximum penalty allowed by law.

    Nonetheless, you should speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney because you may be able to negotiate a resolution to receive a "withhold of adjudication," which would allow you the chance to Petition to Seal your Arrest Record once you case is complete. You can read about Sealing your Record on my website linked below.

    If you have any specific questions and/or would like further assistance on this matter, please do not hesitate to give my office a call. We handle cases throughout the Tampa Bay area.

    Good luck.

    My best,

    Aaron J. Slavin, Esq.
    SLAVIN LAW FIRM, LLC
    4707 140th Avenue North, Suite 211
    Clearwater, Florida 33762
    727.474.3785
    1.877.HIRE.SLF
    aaron@slavinlawfirm.com

  3. Eric J Trabin

    Contributor Level 19

    Answered . If the case stays within juvenile court, the potential outcome is not so dire. From what you wrote, the charges were reduced to a misdemeanor. Without knowing more about the case I can't say for sure what exact misdemeanor is charged, but it probably is a Trespass of some sort.

    If you have a completely clean record then you aren't in the worst position. In Florida, the primary purpose of the criminal justice system is punishment, but the primary purpose of the juvenile system is rehabilitation. Depending on the policy of the local State Attorney, you may be eligible for pretrial diversion. Pretrial diversion, or PTD, requires you to do some things (for example Teen Court, classes, community service, et cetera) and when you successfully complete it the charges are dropped.

    If you don't get PTD you could either go to trial or negotiate a plea deal. An attorney could assist you either way. If there is a plea or a guilty verdict after trial, you could either be "adjudicated guilty" or have "adjudication withheld." If you are adjudicated guilty then the court has a maximum jurisdiction of 1 year. That could either be probation or commitment to a juvenile program, but either way the max is 1 year. If you get a withhold, then you can legally say you are not convicted of a crime. But in the juvenile system here in Florida, if you get a withhold the court can supervise you longer than the statutory maximum.

    Regardless, you are charged with a crime and even though it is a misdemeanor and in the juvenile system you should take it seriously. It sounds like you are taking it seriously. You and your family should find an attorney for you and try to get you accepted into PTD.

    Good luck!

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