Most Common Juvenile Offenses in Florida 

 April 17, 2014

By  LMW Attorneys

Some young adults want to believe they are above the law. If you notice your child persistently challenging authority, it is important that you address the issue before it permanently affects their future.

Some of the Most Common Juvenile Crimes

In Florida last year, police made 11,885 delinquency arrests for misdemeanors, and the most serious offense was assault or battery.

Out of the 8,874 delinquency arrests for felonies in Florida last year, the most serious offense was burglary.

Juvenile Dispositions (Sentencing)

There are many factors that play a role in determining the disposition for a juvenile in any case.  A disposition is what they call a sentencing in juvenile court. Courts have the ability to charge a juvenile as an adult depending on the crime, the juvenile’s criminal history, parental opinion and anything else that the State Attorney deems worthy of consideration. The juvenile courts focus on rehabilitation while the adult cases are focused on punishment.  Therefore, if the State Attorney does not believe the juvenile can be rehabilitated, they often bypass the juvenile system. The circumstances, mental competency of the individual, previous record and compliance are some of the factors taken into account when a court sentences a juvenile.

A juvenile detention facility is considered to be a place where once a juvenile is arrested they can be placed for a maximum of 21 days.  A juvenile is not normally sentenced to a detention facility unless it’s being used as a minimal punishment or transition to a formal commitment program.

A juvenile can be given a disposition that ranges from a verbal judicial warning to a maximum high risk residential program until their 19th birthday and in some cases even longer.

Florida’s Numbers

Overall, Florida’s juvenile crime rate has decreased from fifty-nine to forty-six delinquency arrests of every 1,000 juveniles in the past couple years.

Since 2011, the number of juvenile arrests has declined 23%, and aggravated assault and battery arrests have declined 20%.

In the past several years, youth residing in Florida are committing less serious, violent offenses.