The criminal defense lawyers at Arnesen Law represent juveniles who are charged as adults throughout South Florida, including in Palm Beach County. If your child is facing charges, it is critical to consult with a knowledgable attorney as soon as possible in order to protect his or her best interests.

Arnesen Law is a legal practice devoted entirely to criminal and DUI defense, with its lawyers representing clients in both the juvenile and adult justice systems. Jay Arnesen, the firm’s founder, is a former police officer who honorably retired after sustaining serious injuries during a near-fatal car accident while on the job. He now devotes his time and practice solely to defending citizens facing criminal and DUI charges. With offices conveniently located in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale, Mr. Arnesen and his fellow attorneys appear in criminal courts throughout South Florida on a daily basis. Contact their offices anytime at 561-419-9630 for a free initial consultation.

As a former police officer, I used to help prosecute these charges for the State. Now, let me use my training and experience to combat these charges for you in court.” Jay Arnesen, Esq., Juvenile Defense Attorney

Juveniles Tried as Adults in Florida 

Chapter 985 of the Florida Statutes details all of the legal provisions associated with the juvenile justice system, specifically addressing issues involved with the transfer of a juvenile case to adult court in Chapter 985, Part X. This series of chapters details the procedure associated with a transfer, from the eligibility criteria, to the waiver hearing, and sentencing provisions. Florida law outlines the various paths through which a juvenile case can be waived to adult court in Chapter 985, Section 556. 

According to 985.556, there are three types of waivers: a voluntary waiver, an involuntary discretionary waiver, and an involuntary mandatory waiver. First, a voluntary waiver involves a juvenile defendant who requests to be tried as an adult, with the support of his or her parent or legal guardian. Second, an involuntary discretionary waiver occurs after the State’s Attorney files a motion to request the transfer of a juvenile case to adult court, providing the court with a sufficient argument to support said transfer. Finally, an involuntary mandatory waiver applies to juvenile offenders who have been previously adjudicated delinquent for felony-level offenses including: murder, sexual battery, armed robbery, carjacking, and aggravated assault and who are charged with a second or subsequent violent crime.  

Section 985.556 also outlines the procedure for conducting a waiver hearing and the factors which must be considered before making a determination as to the appropriate venue for the adjudication of a juvenile case. Some of the contributing factors to be evaluated include:

  • The seriousness of the alleged offense to the community and whether the protection of the community is best served by transferring the child for adult sanctions
  • Whether the alleged offense was committed in an aggressive, violent, premeditated, or willful manner
  • Whether the alleged offense was against persons or against property, greater weight being given to offenses against persons, especially if personal injury resulted
  • The probable cause as found in the report, affidavit, or complaint
  • The sophistication and maturity of the child
  • The record and previous history of the child; and
  • The prospects for adequate protection of the public and the likelihood of reasonable rehabilitation of the child if he or she is provided with the rehabilitative resources available through the Juvenile Justice System

If the court does find that a juvenile’s case should be transferred to adult court, he or she will be subject to the same criminal procedure as an adult defendant. The Court will then determine if he or she will be sentenced to adult or juvenile sanctions if ultimately found guilty. 

Contact Boca Raton FL Juvenile Attorney Jay Arnesen for a Free Initial Consultation

With offices conveniently located in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale, Mr. Arnesen can be reached anytime at 561-419-9630 for a free consultation about your child’s case.

Tell Us About Your Case

Jay Arnesen is a retired police officer turned criminal defense attorney who now defends clients charged with criminal and traffic (DUI) offenses in South Florida. With offices conveniently located in Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton, Mr. Arnesen appears in courts throughout South Florida on a regular basis. Protect your rights, contact experienced criminal defense lawyer Jay Arnesen anytime for a free initial consultation at 866-347-6296.

Arnesen Law, P.A.

Areas We Serve

Palm Beach County, Atlantis, Belle Glade, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Briny Breezes, Cloud Lake, Delray Beach. Glen Ridge, Greenacres, Gulf Stream, Haverhill, Highland Beach, Juno Beach, Jupiter, Lake Park, Lake Worth, Manalapan, North Palm Beach, Ocean Ridge, Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Palm Springs, Riviera Beach, Royal Palm Beach, Wellington, West Palm Beach


Boca Raton

1825 NW Corporate Blvd. Suite 110

Boca Raton, FL 33431

  (201) 556-1570  

Fort Lauderdale

633 South Andrews Avenue

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

  (866) 317-5164