Youthful Offender Sentencing in Fort Walton Beach
There is plenty of information on this site about adult cases and juvenile cases. But what about cases where you are technically an adult (over the age of 18), but you’re still too young and immature to fully realize the consequences of your actions?
Youthful Offender sentencing is an option that covers that “gap”.
My son/daughter is charged in adult court. What is going to happen?
Youthful Offender status is a tool that allows me to humanize my client to the Court. It gives the Court a legal basis to step outside the “norm” and impose a more humane punishment. A punishment that is tough but fair. A punishment that gives a young person a chance to still lead a normal life as a productive member of society.
How does Youthful Offender Sentencing work?
Anyone under the age of 21, including young people charged in adult court, can be sentenced as a Youthful Offender. A savvy juvenile defense lawyer should consider this when their client is facing a likely prison sentence.
Youthful Offender Sentencing allows the sentencing Judge to use discretion and impose a sentence that ordinarily might not be possible under the Florida Sentencing Guidelines used for adults.
I will explain the particulars in more detail, but to summarize, Youthful Offender sentencing acts as a “cap” or “ceiling” on the maximum sentence that your child could receive. Under Florida law, if the judge sentences you as a Youthful Offender, the maximum sentence you can receive is 6 years. That 6-year block can be divided between incarceration and probation.
For example, if the judge orders a 4/2 split Youthful Offender sentence, that means the person is sentenced to 4 years incarceration, followed by 2 years probation.
I realize that even thinking about your child going to jail for ANY amount of time is almost too much to bear. Youthful Offender status is often used in cases where the child is facing far longer in prison.
I have secured Youthful Offender status in the past for clients in Fort Walton Beach and throughout Okaloosa County. Children who didn’t deserve to go to prison. Children who needed someone on their side who could see that they were worth saving.
What Should I Do Now?
If your son or daughter has been charged in adult court and they are under the age of 21, it is critically important to your child’s freedom that you call an experienced juvenile defense attorney immediately.
At Flaherty Defense Firm, I focus my practice on defending serious felony cases. I also defend children that have been charged in juvenile court. This range of expertise allows me to secure better results than other attorneys who “dabble” in felony work or juvenile defense.
You can also count on the compassion and understanding your family needs and deserves as you endure this terrible experience. I am a dad myself. I have 3 kids, including 2 who are teenagers. In fact, everyone who works at Flaherty Defense Firm is a parent. My team and I will do everything possible to protect your child and ease your stress.
If your son or daughter has been charged as an adult in Fort Walton Beach, or Okaloosa County, call me for a free, confidential consultation at (850) 243-6097.