Tama Beth Kudman is an experienced, knowledgeable and aggressive criminal defense attorney with offices in West Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and New York City, NY. She has extensive experience defending juveniles in both Juvenile Proceedings and in Criminal Court.
Juvenile Offenses- An Overview
When a person under the age of eighteen is charged with a crime in Florida, the case is often handled within the Juvenile Justice System. These crimes, when committed by juveniles, are treated as “delinquencies.” The Juvenile Justice System is different than the adult Criminal Justice System because the focus is on rehabilitating juveniles, rather than punishing them
However, some juvenile cases are taken out of the juvenile court system and “Direct Filed” to adult court. While infrequently done, direct filed cases are usually the result of a repeat juvenile offender who has committed a serious crime or a first time offense that is extremely violent.
A juvenile offense can have serious consequences for both the child and the parent. It can be a scary time for the entire family. Knowledgeable and caring legal guidance is extremely important. As a parent, Tama Kudman recognizes the extraordinary responsibility of representing children through these confusing and frightening proceedings.
Once a defendant has been found guilty or enters a plea to a charge, a dispositional hearing or sentencing hearing will be set.
A judge sentences a juvenile in a manner appropriate to the crime and other circumstances related to the case. The Juvenile Court has jurisdiction over the defendant until his or her 19th birthday (or, under some rare circumstances to age 21).
The Judge may impose two types of sentences
- Probation: If placed on probation, a judge will likely impose community service, a letter of apology, counseling, etc.
- Commitment: If the judge commits the juvenile to DJJ, the judge will commit the juvenile to a level that is appropriate for his crime. There are currently four different levels of commitment:
- Low risk programs that last from 30-45 days,
- Moderate risk programs that last from 4-6 months,
- High risk programs that last from 6-9 months, and
- juvenile prison that lasts from 18-36 months.
The Importance of Experienced Legal Help
Given the unique issues and interests surrounding juveniles facing delinquency proceedings or criminal charges, it is essential to retain experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense counsel. Tama Beth Kudman has been representing juveniles accused of committing crimes for nearly 20 years. Ms. Kudman brings this experience and knowledge to every case that she defends.
Contact Tama Beth Kudman, an experienced, knowledgeable and aggressive criminal defense attorney today for help if your child is charged with any crime or if you believe your child is under investigation.