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Juvenile Traffic Crimes

When a juvenile is charged with a civil traffic infraction, a traffic misdemeanor, or a traffic felony, which court will deal with case?

Most accusations involve crimes committed by juvenile offenders are resolved in juvenile court. In fact, section 985.0301(1) provided that a circuit court shall have “exclusive original jurisdiction of proceedings in which a child is alleged to have committed a delinquent act or violation of law.”

The traffic division of county court has jurisdiction over the case when a juvenile is charged only with a civil infraction. Likewise, when a juvenile is charged with a misdemeanor traffic offense only, jurisdiction lies with the county court.

Attorneys for Juveniles Charged with Traffic Crimes in Tampa, FL

The juvenile defense attorneys in Tampa, FL, at the Sammis Law Firm represent minor children who are under the age of 21 after the child is charged with a traffic infraction or traffic misdemeanor charge. We are experienced in young people with a variety of traffic crimes including the special penalties for DUI when the driver is under 21 years of age.

Our offices are conveniently located in downtown Tampa in Hillsborough County. We have a second office located in New Port Richey across from the courthouse at the West Pasco Judicial Center.

The attorneys at the Sammis Law Firm represent juveniles charged with traffic crimes throughout the greater Tampa Bay area including Hillsborough County, Hernando County, Pasco County, Pinellas County, Manatee County and Polk County, FL.

When a minor child is charged with a traffic misdemeanor such as DUI, racing, or reckless driving, we can help.

Call 813-250-0500 today.


Jurisdiction over Juveniles Charged with Traffic Offenses

Traffic offenses committed by juveniles are carved out. The Florida Legislature has determined that juveniles who operate a motor vehicle and commit misdemeanor traffic offenses are not entitled to the benefits of juvenile treatment because driving an automobile is an inherently dangerous act which
potentially endangers the public. If the child also consumes alcohol or drugs before driving, the danger to the public increases exponentially.

Two provisions in Florida law give judges in county court jurisdiction over traffic offenses and crimes committed by juveniles. For example, Section 26.012(2)(c) provides: “(2) [Circuit courts] shall have exclusive original jurisdiction: (c) In all cases in equity including all cases relating to juveniles except traffic offenses as provided in chapters 316 and 985.”

Likewise, Section 318.143, Florida Statutes, gives the county court exclusive jurisdiction over minors committing any violation of the provisions of chapter 316. See N.J.G. v. State, 987 So. 2d 101 (Fla. 5th DCA 2008); State v. Jones, 899 So. 2d 1280 (Fla. 4th DCA 2005).

Section 316.635(1) provides:

A court which has jurisdiction over traffic violations shall have original jurisdiction in the case of any minor who is alleged to have committed a violation of law or of a county or municipal ordinance pertaining to the operation of a motor vehicle; however, any traffic offense that is punishable by law as a felony shall be under the jurisdiction of the circuit court.

Where a juvenile is charged with both a felony and a misdemeanor traffic offense, however, jurisdiction lies with the circuit court when the charges arise out of the same circumstances.


This article was last updated on Wednesday, November 21, 2018.

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