Much of the focus on Florida domestic violence prosecution centers around cases involving adults – co-parents, estranged spouses, dating partners, etc. But as our Broward domestic violence defense lawyers can explain, teens can be involved too.
The U.S. Department of Justice reports 1 in 11 teen girls and 1 in 14 teen boys are victims of physical dating violence every year. This includes both physical dating violence and sexual dating violence. According to the U.S. Office of Justice Programs, targets of domestic violence committed by juveniles were mostly parents (51 percent). About a quarter of cases involved siblings, another 13 percent other family members.
Only about 10 percent of cases involved a boyfriend/girlfriend. But these statistics are likely skewed a bit by semantics. That’s because “domestic violence” as it’s defined in F.S. 741.28 is strictly limited to “family or household members.” So unless the teens are married, divorced, co-parents, currently living together as a family or had previously lived together, acts of violence in that relationship aren’t technically counted as “domestic violence.”
That doesn’t mean juveniles can’t face consequences for dating violence. Among the possible consequences:
- A criminal charge of assault and battery or aggravated assault and battery.
- Subject to a civil protection order, which is public record.
- School expulsion, in accordance with F.S. 10006.148.
- Removal from home and placement in foster care and/or youth group home.
- Delinquency proceedings through the Juvenile Delinquency Division of the 17th Judicial Circuit (in Broward County).
- Required counseling and/or anger management courses.
Although the penalties for Florida juvenile crimes of violence can be quite serious (particularly if the defendant is charged as an adult), the process will probably look a little different than a typical criminal case. Continue reading