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Youthful Offender Act Put a Skilled and Trial-Proven Attorney in Your Corner

Youthful Offender Act Lawyer in Miami

Also Protecting Juvenile Clients in Fort Lauderdale

The Florida Youthful Offender Act is found in Chapter 958 of Title XLVII of the Florida Statutes. Its purpose was to improve rehabilitation efforts for youthful offenders who were incarcerated so that they could successfully return to their communities, rather than associate with more experienced criminals during incarceration. If you are a parent or juvenile concerned about sentencing in Florida, it’s important to consider whether you’re eligible for sentencing alternatives under the Youthful Offender Act. If you are eligible, the law also gives you improved public service, vocational, counseling, and educational opportunities, and requires you to participate in substance abuse counseling. A skilled Miami juvenile law attorney can help you understand your legal options.

Discuss your case with us today by calling (305) 928-1669 if you are Miami. Call 954-737-3004 if you are in Broward County. Your initial consultation is free and confidential.

Eligibility for Youthful Offender Sentencing

The Florida Youthful Offender Act provides lower courts with sentencing alternatives for adult offenders who are under age 21 but who are also too old to be treated as juveniles within the state criminal justice system.

Under section 958.04(1), a judge can sentence you as a youthful offender if:

  • You’re at least 18 years old or you were transferred to be prosecuted by a circuit court’s criminal division under chapter 985
  • The court found you guilty or you tendered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere that was accepted by the court for a felony
  • You’re younger than age 21
  • You’ve not previously been categorized as a youthful offender under the law

If you’re found guilty of a life or capital felony, you can’t be sentenced as a youthful offender under section 958.04(1)(c). For example, if you are convicted of first degree murder, you wouldn’t be eligible for sentencing under the Youthful Offender Act. However, those convicted of first degree felonies are eligible for youthful offender sentencing. A seasoned juvenile law attorney can evaluate your eligibility.

Youthful Offender Sentencing

If you are treated as a youthful offender, there are a number of alternative sentencing options the court can employ. The court might decide to sentence you to remaining under supervision on probation or in a community control program for a period. As a youthful offender, a judge can place you on supervision or in a community control program under whatever conditions it can legally impose upon you for up to 6 years. However, your supervisory period can’t be more than the maximum sentence for the crime you were found guilty of perpetrating.

A judge sentencing you as a youthful offender can require you to serve out a period of incarceration as a condition of probation or community control.

You may be required to serve that period in:

  • A department probation and restitution center
  • A county facility
  • A community residential facility that’s operated and owned by a private or public entity providing those services

If you’re a youthful offender, you can’t be ordered to serve out your period of incarceration in a community correctional facility, as those are defined under section 944.026. Your admission into a center or department facility is contingent on there being beds available. You can’t be placed there for more than 364 days.

Under Florida Statute § 958.04(2), a court can dispose of criminal cases as follows, in lieu of other criminal penalties authorized by law and notwithstanding any imposition of consecutive sentences:

  • Up to 6 years of probation or community control
  • Up to 364 days incarceration 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
  • Split sentence involving up to four years in prison
  • Up to six years in prison

Florida Statute § 958.14 also states that 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.

A judge may choose to split your sentence. In that case, you might be put on community control or probation after you finish an incarceration period. If you are serving out your incarceration in a department facility other than a community residential facility or a probation and restitution center, that period wouldn’t be for under a year or more than 4 years. Your incarceration added together with a period of probation or community control can’t be more than 6 years in total.

Reach out to us today – call (305) 928-1669 now if you are in Miami. Call 954-737-3004 if you are in Broward County.

Why Should You Choose The Hoffman Firm?

Here Are Six Reasons
  • Client-Focused Representation

    Our Firm is dedicated to client satisfaction. We are available 24/7 to help those in need.

  • Decades of Experience

    Attorney Evan Hoffman has over two decades of experience fighting for the accused.

  • Premier Criminal Defense Firm

    Experienced Attorney Evan Hoffman has handled some of the most high profile and complex cases.

  • Proven Track Record

    Client satisfaction is our top priority. At The Hoffman Firm we take great pride in our success and case victories.

  • Florida Former State Prosecutor

    Attorney Evan Hoffman has extensive knowledge of the strategies used by prosecutors throughout Florida.

  • Free Initial Consultation

    We offer free initial consultations to ensure that we have your best interests in mind.

Hear it From Our Clients

Read What Past Clients Had to Say
  • “As busy as he is, I was always able to get a hold of him. He provided me his personal cell phone and I was always able to text him if I had any questions.”

    - John
  • “Evan was able to get all my charges dismissed and now 6 months after the worst mistake of my life (getting arrested), Evan was able to give me my life back.”

    - Stacy
  • “I cannot say enough great things about Evan and his staff. He helped me and he will help you too. Call Evan if you are ever in legal trouble.”

    - Armando
  • “I know that I am grateful for all of Evan's hard work and can without a doubt recommend him to my friends, family and all of those out there on the world wide web.”

    - Joshua
  • “If anyone is ever arrested or even under investigation, I can assure you the only person you need to call is EVAN!”

    - John
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Record Of Success

Aggressive Traffic Ticket Defense
  • Charges Dismissed Domestic Violence - Battery

    Mr. Hoffman was able to convince the State Attorney’s Office to drop all charges.

  • Not Guilty Felony Robbery

    Client was charged with armed robbery in Tallahassee. In less than an hour, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty.

  • Not Guilty Felony Sexual Battery

    Client was arrested for sexual battery and case went to trial. In less than 30 minutes the verdict was not guilty.

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