There are a lot of misconceptions about what happens if you get arrested in Florida while you are a minor. Additionally, there is some confusion about what happens to Florida juvenile records after you turn 18.
Do not believe the rumors and myths about juvenile arrests and criminal records. Learn the truth from Goldman Wetzel.
Myth #1: All juveniles qualify for diversion programs.
You may have heard that all juvenile delinquents in Florida qualify for a juvenile diversion program instead a traditional punishment.
Yes, juvenile diversion programs are available in Florida; however, these programs are often only available for first-time, non-violent juvenile offenders with risk factors such as:
- Childhood abuse
- Unstable home life
- Poor grades and poor school attendance
Even if you or your child meet the qualifications for a Florida diversion program, the judge may opt for harsher penalties instead. A defense attorney from Goldman Wetzel will explore the case and fight to get you or your teen into a diversion program and out of jail.
Myth #2: Juvenile penalties only include house arrest and community service.
Many people believe that you do not need to hire an attorney after a juvenile delinquency arrest because the punishment is a joke. This is simply not true.
Many first-time delinquents receive much harsher penalties than just house arrest or community service. Potential punishments for a delinquency conviction in Florida include being:
- Sentenced to a juvenile detention facility
- Forced to live with someone other than a parent (such as with another relative or even in a foster home)
- Put on probation
- Forced to pay a fine
- Monitored with an electronic wrist or ankle bracelet
- Forced to attend counseling
- Sentenced to jail
Goldman Wetzel will fight to show the judge you or your teen have learned a necessary lesson and that harsher penalties will not be necessary.
Myth #3: My juvenile record automatically wipes clean when I turn 18.
A Florida juvenile record does not automatically wipe clean when you or your teen turns 18. Instead, a juvenile record, which details the mistakes made as a minor, will follow an offender through life. An offender will have to reveal information about juvenile crimes on job applications and college admission applications.
If you want to avoid your (or if your child is the offender, having his or her) juvenile record haunting you after you turn 18, you must either seal or expunge your juvenile records. The attorneys at Goldman Wetzel can help you determine whether you are eligible and help you write your sworn statement so that you can finally put the mistakes of your past behind you.
Goldman Wetzel Can Help
Determining eligibility for juvenile diversion programs and sealing or expunging and lessening potential penalties can be difficult. The St. Petersburg juvenile defense attorneys can help you build a case and ensure one mistake does not ruin the rest of your life or your teen’s life.
Contact us today at 727-828-3900.