When someone is accused by the state of committing a crime, the process of navigating the criminal justice system is often a life changing experience. It is important to get the best representation possible to avoid the worst consequences of a criminal sentence. 

Four teenage suspects are facing charges related to multiple car burglaries in Fort Walton Beach Florida.

Car burglaries get attention from local law enforcement

The ages of the suspects range between 14 and 18 years old. Okaloosa County police received calls about a disturbance near some cars at about 3:30 am and described a young man wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt in the area. The incident happened around the parking lot in front of Norwood Court apartments, which is near Beal Parkway.

An officer responded to the scene and was eventually able to find the group and get them to stop. A search revealed that one of the suspects had a punch tool to break into car windows. All four of the young men were charged with various crimes related to burglary, larceny, and criminal mischief. One of them was also charged with possession of a controlled substance. The 14 year old suspect has been charged with several other crimes recently related to illegal possession of firearms and carrying a concealed weapon. 

What can an attorney do to help the suspects?

Criminal defense attorneys will routinely try to get charges dropped, reduced, or come up with other ways to help their clients avoid harsh sentences. Sometimes, this can be the difference between someone being able to find employment or live a normal life. Once someone has multiple convictions their life will never be the same. 

This is especially important because charges such as burglary and larceny are felonies in Florida that can carry sentences of several years. Having to serve out such a lengthy sentence will cause a lot of hardship for the suspect and their family. Even misdemeanor charges related to things like criminal mischief can carry heavy fines and require probation time along with community service. An attorney can make sure the state will actually be able to prove these charges and either negotiate a favorable plea deal or get the case dismissed if crucial pieces of evidence are missing.

Do juveniles need special help?

While the elements of the crime and the format of the state’s case do not change based on the age of the suspects, the juvenile courts have their own judges. It may help to speak with a lawyer who knows the local court system very well. This is especially true in cases such as the story above where defendants may be very young. Once someone is imprisoned, the likelihood of them committing additional crimes increases exponentially, so it is crucial to have an attorney help avoid serving jail time if possible. A good lawyer can be the difference between someone developing a serious criminal record over time versus being able to return to society in a constructive manner.

Talk to a criminal defense attorney in Fort Walton Beach

There are lawyers who specialize in defending against criminal charges in the Fort Walton Beach area. For more information about the possibility of a defense, contact ASG Legal