The United States Supreme Court has applied considerable focus upon whittling away at the maximum sentence applicable to a juvenile criminal defendant. Not long ago, the Court held that juveniles could no longer face the death penalty – no matter the conviction. More recently, the Court held that a juvenile life sentence is only available in murder cases and eliminating the possibility of parole is also considered unconstitutional against minors.
Posting items for sale in a ‘classified ad’ section is hardly new technology. However, the advent of websites like “Craig’s List” provides an unprecedented level of anonymity for sellers, which has proven dangerous – and deadly – in dozens of criminal incidents over the past several years.
Under Florida sentencing guidelines, criminal defendants may face enhanced penalties and harsher punishments if the motivation for their misdeed is based on race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin or religion. According to statistics, race continues to be the most common motivating factor in Florida hate crimes, followed closely by sexual orientation and religion.
For anyone facing a possible term of incarceration, receiving a sentence of probation can bring welcomed relief from the difficulties of lock-up. However, as your Sarasota probation violation attorney will explain, the definition of probation is “the testing or trial of a person’s conduct, character, qualifications, or the like” – and the court will quickly revoke your probationary term if your conduct and character do not pass the test.
According to recent statistics compiled by various Florida county law enforcement agencies, diversionary programs are making a great impact within the jurisdictions choosing to invest in these alternative punishment pathways. While not every Florida county has opted into the diversionary program, the ones that have are contributing to a plummeting juvenile arrest rate which has steadily declined as much as eight percent over the past several years.
The story gripped the nation: two teenagers – one just 13 years old, the other 18 – appeared to be drunk in love and careening out of control across the Southeastern United States.
Teen and ‘tween ‘sexting’ has become an unfortunate and dangerous component of the digital world of youth and adolescence. In response to this phenomenon, the Florida Legislature put together a set of laws drafted, so they thought, to differentiate between the exchange of graphic images between two juveniles and the trafficking of child pornography between vulnerable children and lascivious adults.
The U.S. Constitution contains an explicit ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Over the years, this clause has been interpreted over several generations of case law, tackling unique and sensitive issues relating to capital punishment of vulnerable members of society, namely, juveniles and those with mental and cognitive impairment. The former, which includes any offender who has not yet reached his 18th birthday, is fodder for ongoing debate, often resulting in presentation before the U.S. Supreme Court for resolution.
Shoplifting: a term often associated with young teenagers and their penchant for swiping a candy bar or, at worse, a video game from the local department store. While true, some shoplifting misdeeds fall within the category of petit (or “petty”) theft, others can quickly amount to a felony grand larceny charge – even if the item seems small or insignificant.
As New Year’s Eve approaches, you may be dutifully planning your dinner, drinks and dancing schedule for the evening. Of course, the end of the year brings about much-deserved relaxation and restoration for many, and it is not uncommon for revelers to partake in some (or most) of the celebratory champagne as it is passed around at midnight.