In Florida, the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) takes responsibility for processing criminal offenders who are under eighteen years old. If your child has been arrested, the DJJ determines
the appropriate punishment. Juveniles who have had the unfortunate experience of getting into trouble with the law may be eligible for a juvenile diversion program in Palm Beach County, depending on the facts of their case. Concerned parents and guardians should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who works with juvenile offenders to gain a thorough understanding of the child’s options.
Who may be eligible for a Palm Beach County Juvenile Diversion Program?
The purpose of juvenile diversion programs is to reduce the rate at which minors enter the criminal justice system. Generally, the program helps keep low-risk minors out of detention centers. Juvenile diversion helps keep youths away from formal processing in the juvenile justice system while holding them accountable for their actions. There are several diversion programs available that aim to meet specific needs. A few examples of juvenile diversion programs in West Palm Beach include:
- Teen court
- Drug court
- Juvenile Alternative Service Program
- Community Arbitration
- Juvenile First Offender Program
- Intensive Delinquency Diversion Services
These programs help children build character through enrolling them in a variety of activities. Minors in these programs may be able to attend anger management classes, religious services, educational instruction courses, and participate in community service.
Some programs may be low-intensity programs that issue warnings and send kids back home, while others may work with minors who may need to overcome more challenging obstacles. Certain programs may be available to minors who have psychological issues or issues with substance abuse. These programs may begin before the trial or after an admission of guilt and formal adjudication.
Benefits of a Palm Beach County Diversion Program
The advantages of youth diversion programs are well-documented. Benefits for your child may include:
- Avoiding court proceedings
- No charges filed in court if referred by the prosecutor’s office
- Record of diversion can be sealed two years after successfully completing the program, clearing the minor’s criminal record
- Keeping the minor involved in his community
Even a misdemeanor crime can result in a permanent record and jail time, as the state attorney is under no obligation to be lenient on an offender simply because it is the offender’s first offense. It is important to work with a competent criminal defense attorney to ensure your child can make the most out of a bad situation. Call 561-622-5575 or contact Mr. Gabriel online to schedule a free consultation.