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What happens when a minor is charged with felony murder?

| Jan 19, 2021 | criminal defense

A child who is charged with felony murder could face serious consequences if convicted. However, the penalties that a minor might face depend on factors such as that person’s age, criminal history and the strength of the evidence in a given case. Florida law requires anyone over the age of 16 to be tried as an adult in cases involving bodily harm or death.

Minors are often granted special rights

Generally speaking, police officers cannot question children without their guardians present. This is often true even if a child has been advised of his or her rights to remain silent and ask for legal counsel. Furthermore, minors must be questioned in areas deemed suitable for younger individuals. Finally, if a minor is convicted of a crime, a greater focus is placed on rehabilitating the defendant as opposed to meting out punishment.

What happens if a child is tried as an adult?

If a child is tried as an adult, he or she is treated like an adult throughout the legal process. This means that the verdict in the case will not be sealed, and it also means that any sentence delivered by the judge overseeing the proceeding will aim to punish the defendant. Under Florida law, a person could be sentenced to life without parole if convicted of felony murder, and other lesser charges can result in significant penalties as well if a conviction is obtained. A criminal defense attorney may be able to devise a strategy to ensure that a juvenile is tried as a minor.