Do Time Limitations In Juvenile Proceedings Apply to Adult Criminal Proceedings ?
In State v. Perez, 400 So. 2d 91 (Fla. 3d DCA 1981), the Third District held that the State could not circumvent the juvenile speedy trial rule by filing an information in the adult division after the juvenile speedy trial period lapsed. See Perez, 400 So. 2d at 93.
The court reasoned that because the juvenile division retained jurisdiction until the State filed an information, the juvenile speedy trial rights vested on the ninety-first day.
Therefore, the State's filing of an information after that time could not "deprive the defendants of their previously vested rights under the Juvenile Speedy Trial Rule." Id.
The Fourth and Second Districts, however, adopted a contrary approach.
In Parr v. State, 415 So. 2d 1353 (Fla. 4th DCA 1982), the State, without filing a petition for delinquency, filed an information after both the juvenile speedy trial period and the period for filing a petition had expired.
The court, recognizing that the Legislature entrusted the decision to either file a petition for delinquency or direct file in the adult division to the state attorney, concluded that "a child who is subject to adult proceedings and sanctions cannot rely upon the special treatment established for juvenile proceedings." Id. at 1355. the district court reasoned that by specifically referring to petitions and adjudicatory hearings the Legislature and the Florida Supreme Court restricted the juvenile rules' application to those cases involving petitions for delinquency and adjudicatory hearings, i.e., those cases pending before the juvenile court.
Similarly, the Second District in Bell v. State, 479 So. 2d 308, 309 (Fla. 2d DCA 1985), concluded that neither the statute nor court rules suggest that the time limitations applicable to juvenile proceedings were intended to apply to adult criminal proceedings.
The Bell court, in reaching its conclusion, also relied on D.C.W. v. State, 445 So. 2d 333 (Fla. 1984), in which this Court said the expiration of the period for filing a delinquency petition did not bar the State from charging the juvenile as an adult.