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Even though the rules and procedures are different in juvenile court, it is still criminal defense. What makes Mark Lefcourt and the Criminal Defense Center, P.A. so unique is the manner in which we handle these young offenders. In effect, WE must become family counselors, school liaisons and college admission representatives. This extra time and effort is the only way to truly be effective.

The laws that apply to adults differ when applied to Juveniles. In many counties, including but not limited to Miami-Dade County, Florida, the Juvenile Court is in a separate and distinct courthouse in a different part of town. Understanding the laws and the subtle nuances of the procedures is crucial to taking advantage of all your constitutional protections.1


Adjudication – finding by the Juvenile Court that a child accused of a delinquent act committed the act either after a plea or trial.

Disposition – services order or sanctions imposed by the juvenile judge (or agreed to in a diversion program) for the purpose of addressing juvenile’s illegal act and holding the child accountable for problematic behavior.

Detention – status of a juvenile being secured in a juvenile facility under the order of the court on a temporary basis while awaiting a juvenile court hearing.

Petition – the document that formally brings charges against the child in juvenile court (analogous to the term “indictment” in adult court).

Secure Placement – status of a juvenile being held in a secure facility under court order for the purpose of complying with the terms of a disposition order (analogous to the term “incarceration” in adult court).