Melbourne, FL Attorneys Manage Juvenile Dependency Cases
Experienced trial attorneys represent youths in delinquency adjudications
Most parents would agree that their children are the most precious part of their lives. When the state intercedes, imposing its legal authority on those children, parents want their children protected. While the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the Department of Juvenile Justice seek to act in the best interest of children, errors and a tendency to overreach can inflict harm regardless of good intentions. That’s why, for more than 30 years, Tucker Mitnik, P.A. has worked tirelessly to protect youth and parents in Florida’s social services and justice systems.
Understanding the juvenile dependency process in Florida
Florida law requires many professionals who regularly interact with children to report suspicions of abuse or neglect to the DCF. When the DCF investigates, its personnel may decide that the welfare of the children requires removal from the home. This is a drastic step that can be traumatic for the children and the parents alike. If this happens to your family, you need seasoned legal representation, because the Juvenile Dependency Court has the power to restore your children to your home or to make the removal permanent.
Tucker Mitnik attorneys help parents navigate the juvenile dependency process. When misunderstandings have led to misreporting of facts, we offer clarification. When families need to fix conditions that negatively impact their children’s welfare, we assist in putting together case plans detailing steps for remediation. When conflict between the parents is at the root of the problem, we can often resolve difficulties through family mediation. Our knowledge of the juvenile dependency system allows us to offer accurate advice and reliable representation.
Aggressive defense of youths in Florida juvenile justice proceedings
Your child should have skilled representation through every phase of the juvenile justice process:
- Apprehension — A youth’s contact with law enforcement can result in a civil citation or custody. This is the point at which you should contact a juvenile defense attorney.
- Assessment — Law enforcement may release the youth to a parent/guardian or take the youth to the Juvenile Assessment Center (JAC), where Department of Juvenile Justice personnel screen the youth to determine the appropriate next step: entry into a diversion program, referral to adult court, or referral to a Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative facility or secure detention.
- Adjudication — The case arrives in juvenile court. The state attorney may decide not to prosecute the case, and the youth is released. In prosecuted cases, the court determines whether the youth committed a delinquent act, and if so, may adjudicate the youth a delinquent and commit the person to a residential facility or withhold adjudication and order the youth to meet with a probation officer to develop a Youth-Empowered Success Plan.
Florida provides many opportunities for at-risk youths to avoid adjudication as a delinquent. Having an experienced defense attorney at your child’s side encourages consideration for diversion programs and other alternatives to incarceration.
Let Tucker Mitnik provide experienced juvenile law representation for your child in Melbourne, FL
Florida’s Department of Children and Families and Department of Juvenile Justice have processes to assist your child and your family. A knowledgeable juvenile law attorney can help you access the help and avoid painful separation and unnecessary detention. To schedule a consultation, call Tucker Mitnik, P.A. at 321.392.5239 or contact our Melbourne office online.