As a Jacksonville criminal lawyer, I have represented juveniles and adults in Duval County criminal court. It is not usual to have co-defendants that are separated in the court system, meaning one defendant is in juvenile court and the other is in adult court. With 18 being the dividing age, this can easily happen as some defendants will be under 18 and others will be 18-years-old or older. The co-defendants will often have different Jacksonville criminal attorneys due to a possible conflict of interest between defendants. In some cases, defendants will have different stories. One defendant may implicate the other defendant, and this creates a problem between defendants.
On Wednesday, two teenagers were arrested by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. One teenager was a minor, only 15-years-old. The other teenager was 18-years-old, so he is considered an adult. This factual scenario shows how a conflict may arise between co-defendants. Action News of Jacksonville reported:
“Two teens are in police custody after intentionally ramming a marked police car Wednesday morning, said the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. The incident occurred in the area of Broadway and McDuff avenues, which is just north of West Beaver Street. The 18-year-old man and the 15-year-old girl, who were in the car, drove away from the scene. A JSO officer used a maneuver to stop the vehicle and the two ran away. A K-9 officer assisted with the investigation. The K-9 found the 18-year-old in a shed that he broke into, said JSO. Officers said the 15-year-old refused to stop for police and yelled obscenities before a K-9 stopped her. The officers were not injured and the suspects needed stitches. JSO said the vehicle is stolen.”
First, this is a stolen vehicle, so there may be Jacksonville grand theft auto charges. The police have likely questioned the co-defendants about it. If one co-defendant accuses the other of stealing the car, this creates a conflict between the defendants. Also, there is a case for a hit and run charge. The driver may be charged with leaving the scene of an accident in Jacksonville. The passenger is a witness to this. Each person ran so there are additional charges that may be filed for resisting an officer without violence in Jacksonville. The news story also stated that the 18-year-old broke into a shed. This may result in trespassing charges.
Since the girl was 15-years-old, she and parents will need to deal with this case in Jacksonville juvenile delinquent court. The 18-year-old is an adult, so he will go to circuit court if he is charged with a felony. If he is charged with misdemeanors only, he will end up in county court. Although the defendants are in different courtrooms, they will likely need separate Jacksonville criminal lawyers due to the possible of a conflict of interest as described above.