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The Florida Statutes

The 1998 Florida Statutes

Title XLVII
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE AND CORRECTIONS
Chapter 985
Delinquency; Interstate Compact On Juveniles
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985.227  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:

1.  Arson;

2.  Sexual battery;

3.  Robbery;

4.  Kidnapping;

5.  Aggravated child abuse;

6.  Aggravated assault;

7.  Aggravated stalking;

8.  Murder;

9.  Manslaughter;

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);

12.  Aggravated battery;

13.  Lewd or lascivious assault or act in the presence of a child;

14.  Carrying, displaying, using, threatening, or attempting to use a weapon or firearm during the commission of a felony; or

15.  Grand theft in violation of s. 812.014(2)(a).

(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 murder, sexual battery, armed or strong-armed robbery, carjacking, home-invasion robbery, aggravated battery, or aggravated assault, and is currently charged with a second or subsequent violent crime against a person.

(b)  Notwithstanding subsection (1), regardless of the child's age at the time the alleged offense was committed, the state attorney must file an information with respect to any child who previously has been adjudicated for offenses which, if committed by an adult, would be felonies and such adjudications occurred at three or more separate delinquency adjudicatory hearings, and three of which resulted in residential commitments as defined in s. 985.03(45).

(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.

(3)  EFFECT OF DIRECT FILE.--

(a)  Once a child has been transferred for criminal prosecution pursuant to 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 appropriate court all preadjudicatory cases that pertain to that child which are pending in juvenile court, including, but not limited to, all cases involving offenses that occur or are referred between the date of transfer and sentencing in adult court and all outstanding juvenile disposition orders. The juvenile court shall make every effort to dispose of all predispositional cases and transfer those cases to the adult court prior to adult sentencing. It is the intent of the Legislature to require all cases occurring prior to the sentencing hearing in adult court to be handled by the adult court for final resolution with the original transfer case.

(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 and annually update 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, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board not later than January 1 of each year.

History.--s. 35, ch. 97-238.