The Florida courts and legislature treat juvenile offenders differently than adults who commit crimes. For example, if a juvenile offender receives a sentence of over twenty years in prison, they are entitled to judicial review. The right to judicial review was the subject of a recent Florida opinion delivered in a grand theft auto case, and the trial court’s failure to elucidate that right in the sentencing order constituted grounds for remand. If you are a minor charged with a crime, it is smart to speak to a St. Petersburg juvenile crime defense attorney to discuss your rights.
Facts and Procedure of the Case
It is reported that the defendant was charged with multiple crimes arising out of the theft of a vehicle and the burglary of a dwelling. He entered an open guilty plea, after which he was convicted of the charged offenses. He received a prison sentence of 35 years, followed by 16 years of probation. He then appealed.
The Right to Judicial Review in Juvenile Cases
The defendant raised multiple grounds on appeal. The court rejected each of his arguments in turn but remanded the matter for two specific purposes. First, the court noted that the trial court must enter a written order that allows for the judicial review of the defendant’s sentence after twenty years, as required by the Florida Statutes. Although the topic of judicial review was discussed during the sentencing hearing, the court failed to provide a written order to that effect. Therefore, the court held that it was necessary for the trial court to rectify this omission by issuing a written order. Continue Reading ›