Florida Senate - 2012 SB 418 By Senator Smith 29-00407-12 2012418__ 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. 16 17 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 18 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.— 25 (1) DISCRETIONARY DIRECT FILE.— 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 Family Services, other 54 law 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 filed78 pursuant to this section may include all charges that are based79 on the same act, criminal episode, or transaction as the primary80 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.— 103 (3) INVOLUNTARY MANDATORY WAIVER.— 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; 121 122 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, 2012.