If your child was arrested for a crime as a juvenile in Florida, there may be consequences that last well beyond childhood years. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement keeps a youth's criminal record until the individual turns 24, at which point most records are expunged.
However, the six years between the time a child turns 18 and 24 are important years for getting established in a career, and during that time, though most juvenile records are not available to the public, potential employers and schools could gain access to those records and could deny your child a job or a chance at higher education because of a mistake made when your child was young and didn't think about his or her future.
Traffic violations and felony convictions
For traffic violations, all licensed drivers are considered adults for driving offenses. Tickets and other violations by juveniles are public record, and are not treated as adult violations. In Florida, the arrest records of a juvenile convicted of a felony are available to the public from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and will show up on a background check. Although most records are destroyed when a person turns 24, there are some exceptions:
If a juvenile is considered a habitual offender with a string of crimes or ever spent time at a juvenile prison or juvenile correctional facility, records are not expunged until the individual turns 26.
If a person who is 18 years or older and is charged with a felony before their juvenile record is expunged, their juvenile record and their adult criminal records both become part of their permanent arrest records.
If a person under the age of 18 is tried as an adult for a felony, his or her juvenile record becomes part of his or her adult criminal record.
If a youth is convicted as a sex offender, that would also be classified as an adult criminal record.
A background check and a juvenile record
Most employers are reluctant to hire a felon because they are concerned about potential criminal behavior on the job, which makes it difficult for a young person just starting out to get the proverbial foot in the door. If records have been expunged, your child has nothing to worry about as an adult because those records have been destroyed. More serious crimes, however, will follow him or her for decades, and could have a negative impact on professional advancements or educational opportunities.
Call a Florida criminal defense attorney
If you're concerned that your juvenile criminal record will have a negative impact on your future as an adult, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney, who in some cases may be able to get your juvenile record expunged. For more information, call Malcolm Anthony today 904-285-4529.