Lakeland, FL (Law Firm Newswire) April 24, 2013 - Young offenders seem to think a juvenile record is no big deal. This is not the case.
“Many young offenders figure getting a juvenile record is not a big deal. It won’t affect them when they grow up and start looking for a job, or make any difference later in life should they be sentenced for something else and/or need to post bond. Wrong. A juvenile criminal record can drastically affect you in terms of sentencing or if you need to post bond,” explained Thomas Grajek, a Lakeland criminal defense attorney.
“I have talked to parents that also seemed to think that a ‘juvvie’ record is penny ante stuff and almost laughable, until they find out that having such a record may mean the difference between going to prison, or not, when their juvenile is an adult. It also affects their ability to own and/or possess a firearm,” Grajek added.
It is vitally important for parents and their children to take having a juvenile record seriously. It is not just “kid stuff,” or just kids being kids and getting up to high jinks; not in the eyes of the law. For instance, in Florida, there is a criminal statute making it illegal, and a 2nd degree felony, for a less than 24-years of age individual to possess firearms, ammunition, e-weapons or devices, or carry concealed weapons, particularly if they have committed a delinquent act ---- that would be classified as a felony, if an adult had committed it.
“Put another way, if your child commits a juvenile act, that if committed by an adult, would be a felony, they cannot possess a firearm until they are older than 24,” Grajek outlined.
For those that think this is not such a big deal, keep in mind that a juvenile criminal record affects their score sheet in felony court. If the overall score is more than 44 points, the juvenile ends up in adult court, and it can get to be over 44 points, because if an offender has a juvenile record, it is factored into the score sheet. If the score sheet adds up to adult court, it also adds up to adult prison, not a juvenile facility.
“Take any juvenile crime seriously, as it has an enormous impact on your child’s future. Call me, and I can fill you in on what you need to know and how I can protect your child’s rights in court,” suggested Grajek.
Thomas C. Grajek
206 Easton Drive, Suite 102
Lakeland, FL 33803
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