The Florida Youthful Offender Act, codified under Chapter 958 of the Florida Statutes, was enacted by the Florida Legislature in 1978 to create “an alternative sentencing scheme available to judges when sentencing certain youthful criminal defendants.” The legislative intent of the act was “to improve the chances of correction and successful return to the community of youthful offenders sentenced to imprisonment by preventing their association with older and more experienced criminals during the terms of their confinement.”
The Florida Youthful Offender Act provides certain alleged adult offenders under 21 years of age who are too old to be considered juveniles with less stringent sentencing options, including possibly reduced prison sentences. The Act has also been amended to provide some people with enhanced educational, vocational, counseling, or public service opportunities.
Lawyer in Brooksville, FL Discusses Youthful Offender Act
Were you or your child recently arrested in Central Florida for any kind of alleged criminal offense? Do not say anything to authorities without legal representation. Contact The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. as soon as possible.
Brooksville criminal defense attorney Ashley Aulls aggressively defends clients facing juvenile charges in communities all over the greater Hernando County area, such as Inverness, Spring Hill, Wildwood, Brooksville, Weeki Wachee, New Port Richey, and many others. You can have our lawyer provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call (352) 593-4115 to schedule a initial consultation.
Overview of Youthful Offender Statute in Florida
- Who can be sentenced under the Youthful Offender Act?
- What sentencing options does the Act provide?
- Where can I learn more about youthful offenders in Brooksville?
Under Florida Statute § 958.04(1), a court is allowed to sentence as a youthful offender any person:
- Who is at least 18 years of age or who has been transferred for prosecution to the criminal division of the circuit court pursuant to chapter 985;
- Who is found guilty of or who has tendered, and the court has accepted, a plea of nolo contendere or guilty to a crime that is, under the laws of this state, a felony if the offender is younger than 21 years of age at the time sentence is imposed; and
- Who has not previously been classified as a youthful offender under the provisions of this act.
An individual cannot be sentenced as a youthful offender if he or she has been found guilty of a capital or life felony.
In lieu of other criminal penalties authorized by law and notwithstanding any imposition of consecutive sentences, Florida Statute § 958.04(2) authorizes a court to dispose of criminal cases involving youthful offenders as follows:
- Up to six years of probation or community control;
- Up to 364 days incarceration in a county facility, a department probation and restitution center, or a community residential facility that is owned and operated by any public or private entity providing such services;
- Split sentence involving up to four years in prison; or
- Up to six years in prison.
Under Florida Statute § 958.14, an alleged violation of probation or the terms of a community control program can result in alleged youthful offender receiving the maximum sentence for his or her underlying offense.
Florida Statutes Chapter 958 | Youthful Offenders — View the full text of all 14 sections of the Florida Youthful Offender Act. Find information about definitions, presentence reports, and extensions of limits of confinement. You can also learn more about youthful offender basic training programs, judicial disposition of youthful offenders, and suspension of sentences by courts.
Youthful Offenders | Florida Department of Law Enforcement — View the full text a Florida Department of Law Enforcement study of youthful offenders under supervision in three Florida counties who were admitted to prison between 1982 and 1992. Data for the project was based on the printout information and statistical data from Department of Corrections’ Annual Reports used to compare the impact of youthful offenders on the three-county area, the prison population, and the state’s community supervision population. The study compares local and state statistics pertaining to probation population and prison admissions during the same time frame, based on data retrieved from the Justice Data Center (JDC).
The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. | Brooksville Youthful Offender Defense Attorney
If you or your child has been arrested for an alleged criminal offense in Central Florida, it is in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. can help you achieve the most favorable outcome to your case that results in the fewest possible penalties.
Ashley Aulls is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Brooksville who represents individuals in Citrus County, Sumter County, Pasco County, and Hernando County. Call (352) 593-4115 or submit an online contact form to have our attorney review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a confidential consultation.