2004 Florida Statutes
Prosecution of juveniles as adults by the direct filing of an information in the criminal division of the circuit court; discretionary criteria; mandatory criteria.
(1) DISCRETIONARY DIRECT FILE; CRITERIA.--
(a) With respect to any child who was 14 or 15 years of age at the time the alleged offense was committed, the state attorney may file an information when in the state attorney's judgment and discretion the public interest requires that adult sanctions be considered or imposed and when the offense charged is for the commission of, attempt to commit, or conspiracy to commit:
2. Sexual battery;
5. Aggravated child abuse;
6. Aggravated assault;
7. Aggravated stalking;
10. Unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb;
11. Armed burglary in violation of s. 810.02(2)(b) or specified burglary of a dwelling or structure in violation of s. 810.02(2)(c), or burglary with an assault or battery in violation of s. 810.02(2)(a);
12. Aggravated battery;
13. Any lewd or lascivious offense committed upon or in the presence of a person less than 16 years of age;
14. Carrying, displaying, using, threatening, or attempting to use a weapon or firearm during the commission of a felony;
15. Grand theft in violation of s. 812.014(2)(a);
16. Possessing or discharging any weapon or firearm on school property in violation of s. 790.115;
17. Home invasion robbery;
18. Carjacking; or
19. Grand theft of a motor vehicle in violation of s. 812.014(2)(c)6. or grand theft of a motor vehicle valued at $20,000 or more in violation of s. 812.014(2)(b) if the child has a previous adjudication for grand theft of a motor vehicle in violation of s. 812.014(2)(c)6. or s. 812.014(2)(b).
(b) With respect to any child who was 16 or 17 years of age at the time the alleged offense was committed, the state attorney may file an information when in the state attorney's judgment and discretion the public interest requires that adult sanctions be considered or imposed. However, the state attorney may not file an information on a child charged with a misdemeanor, unless the child has had at least two previous adjudications or adjudications withheld for delinquent acts, one of which involved an offense classified as a felony under state law.
(2) MANDATORY DIRECT FILE.--
(a) With respect to any child who was 16 or 17 years of age at the time the alleged offense was committed, the state attorney shall file an information if the child has been previously adjudicated delinquent for an act classified as a felony, which adjudication was for the commission of, attempt to commit, or conspiracy to commit murder, sexual battery, armed or strong-armed robbery, carjacking, home-invasion robbery, aggravated battery, or aggravated assault, and the child is currently charged with a second or subsequent violent crime against a person.
(b) With respect to any child 16 or 17 years of age at the time an offense classified as a forcible felony, as defined in s. 776.08, was committed, the state attorney shall file an information if the child has previously been adjudicated delinquent or had adjudication withheld for three acts classified as felonies each of which occurred at least 45 days apart from each other. This paragraph does not apply when the state attorney has good cause to believe that exceptional circumstances exist which preclude the just prosecution of the juvenile in adult court.
(c) The state attorney must file an information if a child, regardless of the child's age at the time the alleged offense was committed, is alleged to have committed an act that would be a violation of law if the child were an adult, that involves stealing a motor vehicle, including, but not limited to, a violation of s. 812.133, relating to carjacking, or s. 812.014(2)(c)6., relating to grand theft of a motor vehicle, and while the child was in possession of the stolen motor vehicle the child caused serious bodily injury to or the death of a person who was not involved in the underlying offense. For purposes of this section, the driver and all willing passengers in the stolen motor vehicle at the time such serious bodily injury or death is inflicted shall also be subject to mandatory transfer to adult court. "Stolen motor vehicle," for the purposes of this section, means a motor vehicle that has been the subject of any criminal wrongful taking. For purposes of this section, "willing passengers" means all willing passengers who have participated in the underlying offense.
(d)1. With respect to any child who was 16 or 17 years of age at the time the alleged offense was committed, the state attorney shall file an information if the child has been charged with committing or attempting to commit an offense listed in s. 775.087(2)(a)1.a.-q., and, during the commission of or attempt to commit the offense, the child:
a. Actually possessed a firearm or destructive device, as those terms are defined in s. 790.001
b. Discharged a firearm or destructive device, as described in s. 775.087(2)(a)2.
c. Discharged a firearm or destructive device, as described in s. 775.087(2)(a)3., and, as a result of the discharge, death or great bodily harm was inflicted upon any person.
2. Upon transfer, any child who is:
a. Charged pursuant to sub-subparagraph 1.a. and who has been previously adjudicated or had adjudication withheld for a forcible felony offense or any offense involving a firearm, or who has been previously placed in a residential commitment program, shall be subject to sentencing under s. 775.087(2)(a), notwithstanding s. 985.233
3. Upon transfer, any child who is charged pursuant to this paragraph, but who does not meet the requirements specified in subparagraph 2., shall be sentenced pursuant to s. 985.233; however, if the court imposes a juvenile sanction, the court must commit the child to a high-risk or maximum-risk juvenile facility.
4. This paragraph shall not apply if the state attorney has good cause to believe that exceptional circumstances exist which preclude the just prosecution of the child in adult court.
5. The Department of Corrections shall make every reasonable effort to ensure that any child 16 or 17 years of age who is convicted and sentenced under this paragraph be completely separated such that there is no physical contact with adult offenders in the facility, to the extent that it is consistent with chapter 958.
(3) EFFECT OF DIRECT FILE.--
(a) Once a child has been transferred for criminal prosecution pursuant to an information and has been found to have committed the presenting offense or a lesser included offense, the child shall be handled thereafter in every respect as if an adult for any subsequent violation of state law, unless the court imposes juvenile sanctions under s. 985.233
(b) When a child is transferred for criminal prosecution as an adult, the court shall immediately transfer and certify to the adult circuit court all felony cases pertaining to the child, for prosecution of the child as an adult, which have not yet resulted in a plea of guilty or nolo contendere or in which a finding of guilt has not been made. If a child is acquitted of all charged offenses or lesser included offenses contained in the original case transferred to adult court, all felony cases that were transferred to adult court as a result of this paragraph shall be subject to the same penalties to which such cases would have been subject before being transferred to adult court.
(c) When a child has been transferred for criminal prosecution as an adult and has been found to have committed a violation of state law, the disposition of the case may be made under s. 985.233 and may include the enforcement of any restitution ordered in any juvenile proceeding.
(4) DIRECT-FILE POLICIES AND GUIDELINES.--Each state attorney shall develop written policies and guidelines to govern determinations for filing an information on a juvenile, to be submitted to the Executive Office of the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives not later than January 1 of each year.
(5) An information filed pursuant to this section may include all charges that are based on the same act, criminal episode, or transaction as the primary offenses.
History.--s. 35, ch. 97-238; s. 130, ch. 99-3; s. 15, ch. 99-201; s. 1, ch. 99-257; s. 26, ch. 99-284; s. 2, ch. 2000-119; s. 27, ch. 2000-135; s. 1, ch. 2000-136; s. 21, ch. 2001-125; s. 4, ch. 2001-185.