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Posted on Friday January 05, 2018

A new Florida law, effective October 1, 2017, amends the criteria for determining when a juvenile is to be held in detention, and creates a new designation of “Prolific Juvenile Offender.”  Chapter 2017-164, Laws of Florida, amends several provisions of Chapter 985 of the Florida Statutes relating to juvenile justice procedures.

The new law amends Section 985.255, Florida Statutes regarding detention criteria for juveniles who are accused of violating the law.  Subsection (1)(j) is added to provide that at a juvenile detention hearing, the Court may order a child who is a “Prolific Juvenile Offender” to remain in detention.  A “Prolific Juvenile Offender” is defined as a child who (1) is charged with a delinquent act that would be a felony if committed by an adult; (2) has previously been adjudicated or had adjudication withheld for a felony or a delinquent act that would be a felony if committed by an adult; and (3) has five or more of the following, at least 3 of which were for felony offenses or delinquent acts that would have been felonies if committed by an adult: (a) an arrest or referral for which disposition has not been entered, (b) an adjudication, or (c) a withhold of adjudication.

The new law also expands the length of time that a child may be held in detention if he or she is a “Prolific Juvenile Offender,” and requires that a “Prolific Juvenile Offender” must either be placed on non-secure detention with electronic monitoring or be placed in secure detention until disposition of the juvenile charge.

This bill was approved by Governor Scott and became law on October 1, 2017.

Click the following link for the full text of the new law:

Attorney Richard “Jake” Jackson has been in private practice in Volusia County serving the legal needs of the Central Florida community since 1985.  Call us at (386) 738-1111 to schedule a consultation in our DeLand office.

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