Juvenile Defense in Hernando County

What happens when a child under the age of 18 years old is suspected of a crime?

Criminal accusations against children are usually resolved in juvenile court. The case often starts with a knock on the door because an officer wants to question your child about their involvement in a crime. The child has the right to remain silent under the 5th amendment and the right to counsel at each stage of the case under the 6th amendment.

If your child waives those important rights, they might be interrogated by the officer. Anything the child says might be used against them. Before you decide, contact an experienced juvenile defense attorney at Sammis Law Firm to discuss the juvenile case in Hernando County, FL.

Attorney for Juvenile Defense in Hernando County, FL

If your child is suspected of a crime that was allegedly committed in Hernando County, FL, then contact an experienced juvenile defense lawyer at Sammis Law Firm.

Hire an attorney at the earliest stage of the case as soon as you become aware of the accusations. An attorney can help you even before the child is questioned, detained by law enforcement, or taken to the juvenile detention center. Talk to an attorney before letting the police interrogate your child.

If the child has already been picked up, your attorney can appear on the child’s behalf at the first appearance. We represent young people in juvenile court at the courthouse in Brooksville, FL, and throughout Hernando County.

Call 813-250-0500 today.

Stages of the Juvenile Case in Hernando County

If the officer “arrests” the child it might be based on a probable cause detention or a pick-up order entered by a judge in Hernando County, FL.

The pickup order is sometimes called the “order to take into custody” which indicates that a verified petition has been filed alleging facts that under existing law are determined to be sufficient to authorize taking into custody the juvenile who is believed to be of an age subject to the Juvenile Jurisdiction of the Circuit Court in Hernando County, FL.

After the juvenile pick up order is entered, all law enforcement officers in Florida are authorized to take the juvenile into custody and deliver him to the nearest Regional Juvenile Detention Center to be held pending further Order of the Court.

The Juvenile’s First Appearance in Hernando County, FL

Either way, the child might be taken to a juvenile detention center and then a first appearance hearing on the next date. At the first appearance hearing, the court will decide whether the child should be released to the parents on home detention or remain at the juvenile detention facility for 21 days until a filing decision is made.

If you retain a private attorney for first appearance, the attorney can argue all of the reasons why the juvenile should be released back to the parents. At the hearing, the court will fill out a detention hearing order that either finds probable cause exists on the charges or that no finding of probable cause can be made at this time.

The court will tell the child the charges pending against them and advise the child of their right to counsel. The child might be asked whether counsel should be appointed or whether the child intends to hire counsel. The order also indicates whether detention is authorized by law pursuant to a detention screening instrument, statutory policy overrides as specified in the detention screening instrument, or review the decision by the State Attorney Review as specified in the detention screening instrument.

At the first appearance, a private attorney is able to obtain a copy of documents related to the juvenile’s case which might include the following:

  • arrest affidavit / first appearance form from the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office or the law enforcement arresting agency which contains the probable cause affidavit
  • order to take into custody (pick-up) order
  • the petition listing the charges
  • notice to appear
  • home detention agreement
  • other evidence such as supplemental reports, witness statements, pictures, or video.

The detention order might also indicate that the child will remain in the detention status for a period of time not to exceed the statutory limits (typically 21 days) and thereafter be released on a specified date and time if an adjudicatory hearing has not commenced or a subsequent order of the court has been entered.

The Juvenile’s Arraignment in Hernando County, FL

After the first appearance, the State Attorney’s Office will decide whether to file formal charges in a “petition.” If the petition is filed, you will receive a notice to appear. The notice of a continuing summons to appear in the case might require you to return to court for one of the following:

  • arraignment hearing;
  • status hearing;
  • 48 hour review hearing;
  • 72 hour review hearing;
  • pretrial hearing;
  • trial or adjudicatory hearing;
  • sentencing hearing; or
  • juvenile review hearing.

If the child or parent or legal custodian fails to appear as required in the notice, then the court might subject them to contempt of court proceedings, so it is important to comply with the demands made in the notice.

An experienced juvenile defense attorney for Hernando County, FL, at Sammis Law Firm, can help you at every stage of the case.

Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) Probation Office for Hernando County

If the child is ordered to home detention, supervised release, or supervised release with electronic monitoring, then a probation officer with the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) will be assigned. The Hernando County DJJ Probation Office is located at the following address:

Hernando County DJJ Probation Office
16244 Spring Hill Dr.
Brooksville, FL 34604
Phone: 352-754-6684

Supervised Release Reporting Times

If your child is put on supervised release, you will receive a notice of the reporting times which might include:

  • Monday-Friday – Report to the County Probation Office in Hernando County (if the offense allegedly occurred in Hernando County) immediately following 1st appearance, no later than 10:00 am the same day.
  • Weekends-Holidays – Report to the County Probation Office in Hernando County (if the offense allegedly occurred in Hernando County) no later than 10 a.m. of the next business day (only if the first appearance falls on a weekend day or state holiday).

Electronic Monitoring Reporting Times

If you were advised you are to have an electronic monitor, you might be required to report to the Marion County Probation Office (or maybe the probation office in your county) immediately after first appearance (or the next business day if the first appearance occurred on a weekend or holiday.

Juvenile Home Detention Agreement

After the first appearance court date, the juvenile and parents might be asked to sign a home detention agreement. The home detention agreement will list the time, date, and location for the next court date.

The form will list the rules of supervised release. The form will notify you that if you are placed in a category of Supervised Released known as Home Detention (HD) with the Department of Juvenile Justice in Hernando County (hereinafter referred to as the “department” or “DJJ”).

Being released to home detention means that the court believes that the child, with the help and support of the juvenile’s parents or guardian and DJJ, can be a responsible citizen, remain crime-free, and appear at all required court hearings.

Additional Resources

Juvenile Courts in Hernando County, FL – Visit the website for the Office of Doug Chorvat Jr., the Clerk of Circuit Court & Comptroller in Hernando County, FL, to learn more about how to obtain records involving Juvenile Delinquency at the Court Services Department. The department is located within the Family Law Division on the 2nd floor of the Hernando County Courthouse, 20 North Main Street in Brooksville. In Hernando County, delinquency records are confidential under Florida Law. No information on delinquency cases will be released over the telephone. To obtain the record, the attorney of record, parent, guardian, or juvenile MUST present a picture I.D. to obtain information or view a juvenile case file.

This article was last updated on Friday, June 17, 2022.