985.565 Sentencing powers; procedures; alternatives for juveniles prosecuted as adults.—
(1) POWERS OF DISPOSITION.—
(a) A child who is found to have committed a violation of law may, as an alternative to adult dispositions, be committed to the department for treatment in an appropriate program for children outside the adult correctional system or be placed on juvenile probation.
(b) In determining whether to impose juvenile sanctions instead of adult sanctions, the court shall consider the following criteria:
1. The seriousness of the offense to the community and whether the community would best be protected by juvenile or adult sanctions.
2. Whether the offense was committed in an aggressive, violent, premeditated, or willful manner.
3. Whether the offense was against persons or against property, with greater weight being given to offenses against persons, especially if personal injury resulted.
4. The sophistication and maturity of the offender.
5. The record and previous history of the offender, including:
a. Previous contacts with the Department of Corrections, the Department of Juvenile Justice, the former Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, the Department of Children and Family Services, law enforcement agencies, and the courts.
b. Prior periods of probation.
c. Prior adjudications that the offender committed a delinquent act or violation of law as a child.
d. Prior commitments to the Department of Juvenile Justice, the former Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, the Department of Children and Family Services, or other facilities or institutions.
6. The prospects for adequate protection of the public and the likelihood of deterrence and reasonable rehabilitation of the offender if assigned to services and facilities of the Department of Juvenile Justice.
7. Whether the Department of Juvenile Justice has appropriate programs, facilities, and services immediately available.
8. Whether adult sanctions would provide more appropriate punishment and deterrence to further violations of law than the imposition of juvenile sanctions.
(2) PRESENTENCE INVESTIGATION REPORT.—
(a) Upon a plea of guilty, the court may refer the case to the department for investigation and recommendation as to the suitability of its programs for the child.
(b) Upon completion of the presentence investigation report, it must be made available to the child’s counsel and the state attorney by the department prior to the sentencing hearing.
(3) SENTENCING HEARING.—
(a) At the sentencing hearing the court shall receive and consider a presentence investigation report by the Department of Corrections regarding the suitability of the offender for disposition as an adult or as a juvenile. The presentence investigation report must include a comments section prepared by the Department of Juvenile Justice, with its recommendations as to disposition. This report requirement may be waived by the offender.
(b) After considering the presentence investigation report, the court shall give all parties present at the hearing an opportunity to comment on the issue of sentence and any proposed rehabilitative plan. Parties to the case include the parent, guardian, or legal custodian of the offender; the offender’s counsel; the state attorney; representatives of the Department of Corrections and the Department of Juvenile Justice; the victim or victim’s representative; representatives of the school system; and the law enforcement officers involved in the case.
(c) The court may receive and consider any other relevant and material evidence, including other reports, written or oral, in its effort to determine the action to be taken with regard to the child, and may rely upon such evidence to the extent of its probative value even if the evidence would not be competent in an adjudicatory hearing.
(d) The court shall notify any victim of the offense of the hearing and shall notify, or subpoena if appropriate, the parents, guardians, or legal custodians of the child to attend the disposition hearing.
(4) SENTENCING ALTERNATIVES.—
(a) Adult sanctions.—
1. Cases prosecuted on indictment.—If the child is found to have committed the offense punishable by death or life imprisonment, the child shall be sentenced as an adult. If the juvenile is not found to have committed the indictable offense but is found to have committed a lesser included offense or any other offense for which he or she was indicted as a part of the criminal episode, the court may sentence as follows:
a. As an adult;
b. Under chapter 958; or
c. As a juvenile under this section.
2. Other cases.—If a child who has been transferred for criminal prosecution pursuant to information or waiver of juvenile court jurisdiction is found to have committed a violation of state law or a lesser included offense for which he or she was charged as a part of the criminal episode, the court may sentence as follows:
a. As an adult;
b. Under chapter 958; or
c. As a juvenile under this section.
3. Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, if the state attorney is required to file a motion to transfer and certify the juvenile for prosecution as an adult under s. 985.556(3) and that motion is granted, or if the state attorney is required to file an information under s. 985.557(2)(a) or (b), the court must impose adult sanctions.
4. Any sentence imposing adult sanctions is presumed appropriate, and the court is not required to set forth specific findings or enumerate the criteria in this subsection as any basis for its decision to impose adult sanctions.
5. 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 include the enforcement of any restitution ordered in any juvenile proceeding.
(b) Juvenile sanctions.—For juveniles transferred to adult court but who do not qualify for such transfer under s. 985.556(3) or s. 985.557(2)(a) or (b), the court may impose juvenile sanctions under this paragraph. If juvenile sentences are imposed, the court shall, under this paragraph, adjudge the child to have committed a delinquent act. Adjudication of delinquency shall not be deemed a conviction, nor shall it operate to impose any of the civil disabilities ordinarily resulting from a conviction. The court shall impose an adult sanction or a juvenile sanction and may not sentence the child to a combination of adult and juvenile punishments. An adult sanction or a juvenile sanction may include enforcement of an order of restitution or probation previously ordered in any juvenile proceeding. However, if the court imposes a juvenile sanction and the department determines that the sanction is unsuitable for the child, the department shall return custody of the child to the sentencing court for further proceedings, including the imposition of adult sanctions. Upon adjudicating a child delinquent under subsection (1), the court may:
1. Place the child in a probation program under the supervision of the department for an indeterminate period of time until the child reaches the age of 19 years or sooner if discharged by order of the court.
2. Commit the child to the department for treatment in an appropriate program for children for an indeterminate period of time until the child is 21 or sooner if discharged by the department. The department shall notify the court of its intent to discharge no later than 14 days prior to discharge. Failure of the court to timely respond to the department’s notice shall be considered approval for discharge.
(c) Adult sanctions upon failure of juvenile sanctions.—If a child proves not to be suitable to a commitment program, juvenile probation program, or treatment program under paragraph (b), the department shall provide the sentencing court with a written report outlining the basis for its objections to the juvenile sanction and shall simultaneously provide a copy of the report to the state attorney and the defense counsel. The department shall schedule a hearing within 30 days. Upon hearing, the court may revoke the previous adjudication, impose an adjudication of guilt, and impose any sentence which it may lawfully impose, giving credit for all time spent by the child in the department. The court may also classify the child as a youthful offender under s. 958.04, if appropriate. For purposes of this paragraph, a child may be found not suitable to a commitment program, community control program, or treatment program under paragraph (b) if the child commits a new violation of law while under juvenile sanctions, if the child commits any other violation of the conditions of juvenile sanctions, or if the child’s actions are otherwise determined by the court to demonstrate a failure of juvenile sanctions.
(d) Further proceedings heard in adult court.—When a child is sentenced to juvenile sanctions, further proceedings involving those sanctions shall continue to be heard in the adult court.
(e) School attendance.—If the child is attending or is eligible to attend public school and the court finds that the victim or a sibling of the victim in the case is attending or may attend the same school as the child, the court placement order shall include a finding pursuant to the proceeding described in s. 985.455(2), regardless of whether adjudication is withheld.
It is the intent of the Legislature that the criteria and guidelines in this subsection are mandatory and that a determination of disposition under this subsection is subject to the right of the child to appellate review under s. 985.534.
History.—s. 1, ch. 97-69; s. 41, ch. 97-238; s. 3, ch. 2000-119; s. 13, ch. 2000-134; s. 32, ch. 2000-135; s. 27, ch. 2001-125; s. 20, ch. 2005-263; s. 72, ch. 2006-120; s. 166, ch. 2007-5.
Note.—Former s. 985.233(1)-(3), (4)(a)-(c), (e), (f).