Florida Court Protects the Right to Judicial Review in Juvenile Cases

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.

Secondly, the court clarified that it required a remand for the purpose of correcting or clarifying the written cost orders pertaining to the defendant. The charges in this case stemmed from two separate cases, and during the original sentencing hearing, the trial court imposed “standard court costs” for both cases.

The subsequent written orders, though, included specific public defender fees of $500 in one case and $400 in the other. In response to the defendant’s motion to correct sentencing errors, the State indicated no objection to reducing the public defender fees to $100 in each case. Consequently, during the resentencing hearing, the trial court orally imposed “standard court costs” along with a $100 public defender fee.

Unfortunately, the written cost orders did not accurately reflect the oral pronouncement, as they indicated additional fees on top of the previously imposed costs. To align the written orders with the oral pronouncement, the court held a remand was necessary for the clarification or correction of the written cost orders.

Talk to a Trusted Florida Criminal Defense Attorney

An adjudication of delinquency can alter the trajectory of a minor’s life. As such, it is important for anyone charged with crimes as a juvenile to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. The trusted St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyers of Hanlon Law have ample experience defending minors and young adults, and if you are a juvenile charged with a crime, we can aid you in seeking the best legal outcome possible. You can reach us at 727-897-5413 or through the form online to set up a conference.

Contact Information