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Florida prosecution discretion

Compiled by the Campaign for Youth Justice

2016 prosecutor discretion statute in FLORIDA
When juveniles are accused of committing certain offenses while a certain age, or with particular priors, charges can
be filed in juvenile court or directly in the circuit court's (adult) criminal division when, in the State's Attorney's
"judgment and discretion," the public interest requires that adult sanctions be considered or imposed. Qualifying
alleged offense categories include: 1) Age 14 or 15: certain felonies; 2) Age 16 or 17: a misdemeanor-level offense if
the child has 2 priors; 3) Age 16 or 17: any non-excluded felony; and/or 4) Age 16 or 17: a forcible felony otherwise
subject to "mandatory direct file" provision (statutory exclusion) due to certain priors, if the DA believes "exceptional
circumstances exist that preclude (adult) prosecution". (See details below.) Non-qualifying offenses of the same act,
criminal episode, or transaction may be included.

Offense Minimum ages Description

Any 16 Any misdemeanor-level offense if the child has 2 priors (adjudication or adjudication withheld) if one was felonious.
criminal
offense

Certain 16 1) Any non-excluded felony; or 2) an otherwise excluded "forcible felony" if the DA believes "exceptional circumstances e
felony preclude (adult) prosecution" when the juvenile meets criteria for statutory exclusion because of priors. (The juvenile woul
offense excluded from juvenile court for being previously adjudicated delinquent or had adjudication withheld for three felonious a
occurred at least 45 days apart from each other.) Non-qualifying offenses of the same act, criminal episode, or transaction m
included.

Murder 14 Age 14 or 15: commission, attempt, or conspiracy to commit murder or manslaughter. Non-qualifying offenses of the same
criminal episode, or transaction may be included.

Person 14 Age 14 or 15: commission, attempt, or conspiracy to commit: [murderous] murder, manslaughter, [other person offenses] k
aggravated assault, aggravated battery, sexual battery, robbery, home invasion robbery, aggravated child abuse, aggravated
lewd or lascivious assault or act committed upon or in the presence of a person under age 16; [property] carjacking, burgla
assault or battery. Non-qualifying offenses of the same act, criminal episode, or transaction may be included.

Property 14 Age 14 or 15: commission, attempt, or conspiracy to commit: arson, armed burglary, burglary involving damage to a dwell
burglary involving assault or battery, carjacking, grand theft, or grand theft auto (some grand theft auto charges require pri
theft adjudications to qualify). Non-qualifying offenses of the same act, criminal episode, or transaction may be included.

Weapon 14 Age 14 or 15: commission, attempt, or conspiracy to commit: carrying, displaying, using, threatening, or attempting to use
firearm during the commission of a felony; possessing or discharging any weapon or firearm on school property or at scho
unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb. Non-qualifying offenses of the same act, crimi
or transaction may be included.