Youthful Offender Act
Chapter 958 of the Florida Statutes, more commonly referred to as the "Florida Youthful Offender Act," was enacted during the 1978 Legislative Session. The express purpose of the act was "to improve the chances of correction and successful return to the community of youthful offenders sentenced to imprisonment by preventing their association with older and more experienced criminals during the terms of their confinement."
The Florida Youthful Offender Act provides trial courts with sentencing alternatives for certain alleged adult offenders under 21 years of age who are too old to be considered juveniles. The Act has since been amended to provide alleged youth offenders with enhanced vocational, educational, counseling, or public service opportunities.
Youthful Offender Act Lawyer in Miami-Dade County, FL
Were you or your child recently arrested in South Florida for any kind of alleged criminal offense? Do not make any statement to authorities without legal counsel. Contact The Hoffman Firm as soon as possible.
Evan A. Hoffman is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Miami who represents clients charged with juvenile crimes in Aventura, Coral Gables, Hialeah, Opa-locka, Miami, North Miami, South Miami, Key Biscayne, and many surrounding areas of Miami-Dade County. Call (305) 249-0090 right now to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation that will allow our lawyer to provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case.
Overview of Youthful Offender Act in North Miami
- Who is eligible for sentencing alternatives under the Youthful Offender Act?
- What are the sentencing options under this Act?
- Where can I learn more about the Youthful Offender Act in Miami-Dade County?
Florida Youthful Offender Act Eligibility
Under Florida Statute § 958.04(1), a court can sentence as a youthful offender any person:
- Who is at least 18 years of age or who has been transferred for prosecution to the criminal division of the circuit court pursuant to chapter 985;
- Who is found guilty of or who has tendered, and the court has accepted, a plea of nolo contendere or guilty to a crime that is, under the laws of this state, a felony if the offender is younger than 21 years of age at the time sentence is imposed; and
- Who has not previously been classified as a youthful offender under the provisions of this act.
Any person who has been found guilty of a capital or life felony cannot be sentenced as a youthful offender.
Youthful Offender Act Sentencing in Miami-Dade County
Florida Statute § 958.04(2) establishes that in lieu of other criminal penalties authorized by law and notwithstanding any imposition of consecutive sentences, a court will dispose of criminal cases as follows:
- Place the youthful offender under supervision on probation or in a community control program, with or without an adjudication of guilt, for up to six years;
- Incarceration as a condition of probation or community control in a county facility, a department probation and restitution center, or a community residential facility that is owned and operated by any public or private entity providing such services for up to 364 days;
- Split sentence whereby the youthful offender is placed on probation or community control upon completion of any specified period of incarceration with incarceration of up to four years; or
- Up to six years in prison.
It is also important to understand that under Florida Statute § 958.14, an alleged violation of probation or the terms of a community control program can result in alleged youthful offender receiving the maximum sentence for his or her underlying offense.
Florida Youthful Offender Act Resources
Florida Statutes Chapter 958 | Youthful Offenders — View the full text of the Florida Youthful Offender Act. Find information about judicial disposition of youthful offenders, youthful offender basic training programs, and suspension of sentences by courts. You can also learn more about definitions, presentence reports, and extensions of limits of confinement.
Youthful Offenders | Florida Department of Law Enforcement — View the full text of this Florida Department of Law Enforcement study of youthful offenders under supervision in three Florida counties who were admitted to prison between 1982 and 1992. Data for the project was based on the printout information and statistical data from Department of Corrections' Annual Reports used to compare the impact of youthful offenders on the three-county area, the prison population, and the state's community supervision population. The report concluded, "It is time for the Florida Department of Corrections to thoroughly evaluate the current policies and programs pertaining to the youthful offender population, especially those under community supervision."
The Hoffman Firm | Miami Youthful Offender Act Attorney
If you or your child has been arrested for any kind of alleged criminal offense anywhere in Miami-Dade County, it is in your best interest to quickly seek legal representation. The Hoffman Firm aggressively defends individuals in communities all over South Florida, such as North Miami, South Miami, Key Biscayne, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Homestead, Hialeah, Doral, Aventura, and many others.
Miami criminal defense lawyer Evan A. Hoffman will fight to help you achieve the most favorable outcome to your case that results in the fewest possible penalties. He can review your case and help you understand all of your legal options when you call (305) 249-0090 or complete an online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation.
Evan A. Hoffman
Mr. Hoffman’s philosophy is "our knowledge and experience is your best defense." He has been a featured author on criminal law issues such as driving under the influence, domestic violence and illegal searches.Read More
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