Florida Senate - 2013                                     SB 280
       By Senator Smith
       31-00482-13                                            2013280__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to criminal prosecution of juveniles;
    3         amending s. 985.557, F.S.; providing additional
    4         circumstances for the discretionary direct filing of
    5         charges against certain juveniles; providing criteria
    6         for determining when a case against a juvenile should
    7         be recommended to the court to be transferred for
    8         criminal prosecution; providing criteria for
    9         consideration of a child’s request to an adult court
   10         to return a criminal case to the juvenile justice
   11         system; reenacting s. 985.556(3), F.S., relating to
   12         involuntary mandatory waiver of juvenile court
   13         jurisdiction, to incorporate the amendments made to s.
   14         985.557, F.S., in a reference thereto; providing an
   15         effective date.
   17  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   19         Section 1. Paragraph (c) is added to subsection (1) of
   20  section 985.557, Florida Statutes, subsection (4) of that
   21  section is amended, and subsection (5) is added to that section,
   22  to read:
   23         985.557 Direct filing of an information; discretionary and
   24  mandatory criteria.—
   26         (c) Except as provided in paragraph (b), the state attorney
   27  may file an information against a child otherwise eligible under
   28  this section if the child has a prior felony or misdemeanor
   29  adjudication or an adjudication withheld.
   30         (4) DIRECT-FILE CRITERIA.—
   31         (a) When a child is eligible to have an information filed
   32  by the state attorney under subsection (1), the state attorney
   33  shall use the following criteria to determine whether to file an
   34  information:
   35         1. The seriousness of the alleged offense and whether
   36  transferring the child is necessary for protection of the
   37  community, including:
   38         a. The recommendation of the department, through review and
   39  consideration of the recommendations of the department’s
   40  caseworker.
   41         b. The probable cause as found in the report, affidavit, or
   42  complaint, including:
   43         (I) Whether the alleged offense was committed in an
   44  aggressive, violent, premeditated, or willful manner.
   45         (II) Whether the alleged offense was against persons or
   46  against property, with greater weight being given to offenses
   47  against persons, especially if personal injury resulted.
   48         (III) The strength of the state’s evidence.
   49         c. The sophistication and maturity of the child.
   50         2. The record and previous history of the child, including:
   51         a. Previous contacts with the department, the Department of
   52  Corrections, the former Department of Health and Rehabilitative
   53  Services, the Department of Children and Families, other law
   54  enforcement agencies, and courts.
   55         b. Prior periods of probation.
   56         c. Prior adjudications that the child committed a
   57  delinquent act or violation of law, with greater weight being
   58  given if the child has previously been found by a court to have
   59  committed a delinquent act or violation of law involving
   60  violence to persons.
   61         d. Prior commitments to institutions of the department, the
   62  Department of Corrections, or agencies under contract with
   63  either department.
   64         e. Patterns of criminality or patterns of escalation.
   65         3. The prospects for adequate protection of the public and
   66  the likelihood of reasonable rehabilitation of the child, if the
   67  child is found to have committed the alleged offense, by the use
   68  of procedures, services, and facilities currently available to
   69  the juvenile court.
   70         4. Cost-effective alternatives available to divert the
   71  child from the criminal and juvenile justice systems and offer
   72  rehabilitative services for the child.
   73         (b) If the state attorney files an information against a
   74  child under this section, the state attorney shall file with the
   75  court his or her written explanation, addressing the factors
   76  listed in paragraph (a), as to why the child should be
   77  transferred for criminal prosecution. An information filed
   78  pursuant to this section may include all charges that are based
   79  on the same act, criminal episode, or transaction as the primary
   80  offenses.
   81         (5) REVERSE WAIVER.—Any child over whom the adult court has
   82  obtained original jurisdiction may request, in writing, a
   83  hearing to determine whether the child shall remain in adult
   84  court. The adult court shall retain jurisdiction unless the
   85  child proves by a preponderance of evidence all of the
   86  following:
   87         (a) The child could obtain services available in the
   88  juvenile justice system which could lessen the possibility of
   89  the child reoffending in the future.
   90         (b) The child’s best interests would be served by
   91  prosecuting the case in juvenile court.
   92         (c) The child could receive juvenile sanctions that would
   93  provide adequate safety and protection for the community.
   94         (d) The child is not charged with a felony that is
   95  punishable by death or life imprisonment.
   96         (e) The child has not previously been convicted and
   97  sentenced as an adult.
   98         Section 2. For the purpose of incorporating the amendment
   99  made by this act to section 985.557, Florida Statutes, in a
  100  reference thereto, subsection (3) of section 985.556, Florida
  101  Statutes, is reenacted to read:
  102         985.556 Waiver of juvenile court jurisdiction; hearing.—
  104         (a) If the child was 14 years of age or older, and if the
  105  child has been previously adjudicated delinquent for an act
  106  classified as a felony, which adjudication was for the
  107  commission of, attempt to commit, or conspiracy to commit
  108  murder, sexual battery, armed or strong-armed robbery,
  109  carjacking, home-invasion robbery, aggravated battery,
  110  aggravated assault, or burglary with an assault or battery, and
  111  the child is currently charged with a second or subsequent
  112  violent crime against a person; or
  113         (b) If the child was 14 years of age or older at the time
  114  of commission of a fourth or subsequent alleged felony offense
  115  and the child was previously adjudicated delinquent or had
  116  adjudication withheld for or was found to have committed, or to
  117  have attempted or conspired to commit, three offenses that are
  118  felony offenses if committed by an adult, and one or more of
  119  such felony offenses involved the use or possession of a firearm
  120  or violence against a person;
  122  the state attorney shall request the court to transfer and
  123  certify the child for prosecution as an adult or shall provide
  124  written reasons to the court for not making such request, or
  125  proceed under s. 985.557(1). Upon the state attorney’s request,
  126  the court shall either enter an order transferring the case and
  127  certifying the case for trial as if the child were an adult or
  128  provide written reasons for not issuing such an order.
  129         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2013.