The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)
The trial court also imposed heightened prosecution costs and public defender fees without making factual findings to justify those costs. Juveniles are assessed prosecution costs under the same statute as adult defendants. See § 985.032(2), Fla. Stat. (2018). The statute mandates that juveniles are assessed minimum prosecution costs of $50.00 per case when the charge is a misdemeanor offense and $100.00 if the charge is a felony offense. See § 938.27(8), Fla. Stat. (2018). Juveniles are also assessed costs of legal representation under the same statute as their adult counterparts. See § 985.033, Fla. Stat. (2018). When a juvenile is represented by a public defender, they must be assessed with public defender fees of at least $50.00 per case when charged with a misdemeanor offense, and $100.00 per case when charged with a felony offense. See § 938.29, Fla. Stat. (2018).
KELLY, Judge. J.W. appeals from the disposition order that finds he committed the delinquent acts of burglary of a dwelling and petit theft, withholds an adjudication of delinquency, and places him on probation. We affirm the disposition order without elaboration, but we reverse the order, in part, which imposes $100 for the services of the public defender under sections 985.033 and 939.29, Florida Statutes (2018).
We note that if the trial court had conducted the thorough inquiry required by rule 8.165, D.A.C. would have been informed that his mother's financial status and her feeling that she would not “have to provide an attorney for his wrongdoings” do not affect his right to counsel. Section 985.033(3), Florida Statutes (2015), states that if a child's parent is not indigent but refuses to employ counsel, the trial court “shall order the parents or legal guardian to obtain private counsel.” If a parent willfully fails to comply with the trial court's order, the parent “shall be punished by the court in civil contempt proceedings.” If the parent still refuses to obey the court order, the trial court is authorized to appoint counsel for the child and impose costs of representation.
See also § 985.033(1), Fla. Stat. (2007) ("A child shall be represented by legal counsel at all stages of all court proceedings unless the right to counsel is freely, knowingly, and intelligently waived by the child."); C.K. v. State, 909 So.2d 602, 603-04 (Fla. 2d DCA 2005). To determine whether a juvenile's waiver of counsel is knowing and intelligent, the trial court must (1) inform the juvenile of the disadvantages and dangers of self-representation and the benefits she would relinquish, (2) determine whether she is choosing voluntarily and intelligently to waive the assistance of counsel, and (3) determine whether any unusual circumstances preclude the juvenile from exercising her right to represent herself. D.C.W. v. State, 775 So.2d 363, 364 (Fla. 2d DCA 2000); accord C.K., 909 So.2d at 604.
We affirm the order adjudicating Appellant delinquent. We remand this cause with instructions that the trial court clarify its order dated May 26, 2009, to make clear that the assessment for costs of representation authorized and imposed under section 985.033(1), Florida Statutes, is imposed as a lien against Appellant's parents.
Contrary to W.Z.'s assertion, the Legislature has authorized the assessment of attorney's fees against a child who has been found guilty of committing a criminal act and who received the assistance of the public defender's office. Section 985.033(1), Florida Statutes (2009), provides that a child is entitled to representation by legal counsel at all stages of delinquency court proceedings. If the child and the parents (or other legal guardian) are unable to employ private counsel, the court is required to appoint counsel to represent the child. Significantly, section 985.033(1) expressly makes the costs of representation provisions set forth in section 938.29 applicable to juvenile delinquency proceedings:
The trial court's order also denied appointment of appellate counsel. Although this issue is moot because Appellant obviously has counsel, we observe that Appellant is entitled to appellate counsel under section 985.033(1), Florida Statutes (2007). The trial court is cautioned that Florida and federal law entitle the accused to the appointment of counsel.
Next, rule 8.115 (Disposition Hearing) is amended to specifically provide, in new subdivision (b), that counsel be appointed at disposition hearings. This is in response to the NJDC's recommendation that youth should be represented at all court hearings and throughout the entire delinquency process. It also conforms to section 985.033( 1), Florida Statutes (2008), which requires that a child be represented at all stages of the delinquency proceeding unless counsel is waived. The Committee also recommended that rule 8.115 be amended to require that a disposition order "give credit for time served in secure detention before disposition." This is in response to the Court's referral of an issue regarding such credit in J.I.S. v. State, 930 So.2d 587 (Fla. 2006). In that case, the Court held that juveniles whose dispositions are to determinate commitment programs must be granted credit for time served in secure detention, but those whose dispositions are to indeterminate commitment programs are not entitled to such credit. Id. at 596. The Court also addressed the question of whether a commitment order should specify the amount of predisposition time served, even on an…
The substantive right to counsel for children in juvenile delinquency proceedings is firmly established under the United States Constitution and Florida Statutes. In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1, 36, 87 S.Ct. 1428, 18 L.Ed.2d 527 (1967); § 985.033( 1), Fla. Stat. (2007) (stating that a child is entitled to representation by legal counsel at all stages of any delinquency proceeding). Florida courts have a duty to protect that right. Florida Rule of Juvenile Procedure 8.165 governs the appointment and waiver of counsel in juvenile delinquency proceedings. This rule "contains specific guidelines to ensure that the substantive right of a juvenile to counsel is protected." K.E.N. v. State, 892 So.2d 1176, 1179 (Fla. 5th DCA 2005). Part of protecting and effectuating a child's right to counsel in juvenile delinquency proceedings is ensuring that a waiver of that right by the child is knowing and voluntary. This Court has noted that "[i]t is extremely doubtful that any child of limited experience can possibly comprehend the importance of counsel." State v. T.G., 800 So.2d 204, 211 (Fla. 2001) (quoting P.L.S. v. State, 745 So.2d 555, 557 (Fla. 4th DCA 1999)). Especially given the…
. . . Section 985.033(1), Florida Statutes (2014), provides that a “child is entitled to representation by . . .
. . . See also § 985.033(1), Fla. . . .
. . . to make clear that the assessment for costs of representation authorized and imposed under section 985.033 . . .
. . . Significantly, section 985.033(1) expressly makes the costs of representation provisions set forth iii . . . obligation to pay the child’s attorney’s fees may also be placed on the child’s parents or legal guardian. § 985.033 . . .
. . . Appellant obviously has counsel, we observe that Appellant is entitled to appellate counsel under section 985.033 . . .
. . . It also conforms to section 985.033(1), Florida Statutes (2008), which requires that a child be represented . . .