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       Florida Senate - 2010                                    SB 2568
       By Senator Smith
       29-01196-10                                           20102568__
    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 direct filing of charges against
    5         certain juveniles; providing criteria for determining
    6         when a case against a juvenile should be recommended
    7         to the court to be transferred for criminal
    8         prosecution; providing criteria for consideration of a
    9         child’s request to an adult court to return a criminal
   10         case to the juvenile justice system; providing an
   11         effective date.
   13  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   15         Section 1. Paragraph (c) is added to subsection (1) of
   16  section 985.557, Florida Statutes, subsection (4) of that
   17  section is amended, present subsection (5) of that section is
   18  redesignated as subsection (6) and amended, and a new subsection
   19  (5) is added to that section, to read:
   20         985.557 Direct filing of an information; discretionary and
   21  mandatory criteria.—
   23         (c) Except as provided in paragraph (b), the state attorney
   24  may file an information against a child otherwise eligible under
   25  this section if the child has prior felony or misdemeanor
   26  adjudications or adjudications withheld.
   28         (a) When a child is eligible to have an information filed
   29  by the state attorney under subsection (1), the state attorney
   30  shall use the following criteria to determine whether to file an
   31  information:
   32         1. The seriousness of the alleged offense and whether
   33  transferring the child is necessary for protection of the
   34  community, including:
   35         a. The recommendation of the department, through review and
   36  consideration of the recommendations of the department’s
   37  caseworker.
   38         b. The probable cause as found in the report, affidavit, or
   39  complaint, including:
   40         (I) Whether the alleged offense was committed in an
   41  aggressive, violent, premeditated, or willful manner.
   42         (II) Whether the alleged offense was against persons or
   43  against property, with greater weight being given to offenses
   44  against persons, especially if personal injury resulted.
   45         (III) The strength of the state’s evidence.
   46         c. The sophistication and maturity of the child.
   47         2. The record and previous history of the child, including:
   48         a. Previous contacts with the department, the Department of
   49  Corrections, the former Department of Health and Rehabilitative
   50  Services, the Department of Children and Family Services, other
   51  law enforcement agencies, and courts.
   52         b. Prior periods of probation.
   53         c. Prior adjudications that the child committed a
   54  delinquent act or violation of law, with greater weight being
   55  given if the child has previously been found by a court to have
   56  committed a delinquent act or violation of law involving
   57  violence to persons.
   58         d. Prior commitments to institutions of the department, the
   59  Department of Corrections, or agencies under contract with
   60  either of them.
   61         e. Patterns of criminality or patterns of escalation.
   62         3. The prospects for adequate protection of the public and
   63  the likelihood of reasonable rehabilitation of the child, if the
   64  child is found to have committed the alleged offense, by the use
   65  of procedures, services, and facilities currently available to
   66  the juvenile court.
   67         4. Cost-effective alternatives available to divert the
   68  child from the criminal and juvenile justice systems and offer
   69  rehabilitative services for the child.
   70         (b) If the state attorney files an information against a
   71  child under this section, the state attorney shall file with the
   72  court his or her written explanation, addressing the factors
   73  listed in paragraph (a), as to why the child should be
   74  transferred for criminal prosecution. Each state attorney shall
   75  develop written policies and guidelines to govern determinations
   76  for filing an information on a juvenile, to be submitted to the
   77  Executive Office of the Governor, the President of the Senate,
   78  and the Speaker of the House of Representatives not later than
   79  January 1 of each year.
   80         (5) REVERSE WAIVER.—Any child over whom the adult court has
   81  obtained original jurisdiction may request, in writing, a
   82  hearing to determine whether the child shall remain in adult
   83  court. The adult court shall retain jurisdiction unless the
   84  child proves by a preponderance of evidence all of the
   85  following:
   86         (a) The child could obtain services available in the
   87  juvenile justice system that could lessen the possibility of the
   88  child reoffending in the future.
   89         (b) The child’s best interests would be served by
   90  prosecuting the case in juvenile court.
   91         (c) The child could receive juvenile sanctions that would
   92  provide adequate safety and protection for the community.
   93         (d) The child is not charged with a felony that is
   94  punishable by death or life imprisonment.
   95         (e) The child has not previously been convicted and
   96  sentenced as an adult.
   97         (6)(5)CHARGES INCLUDED.—An information filed pursuant to
   98  this section may include all charges that are based on the same
   99  act, criminal episode, or transaction as the primary offenses.
  100         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.

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