Teenagers, minors, and young adults often do not have full comprehension
of the way the world works, especially when it comes to consequences for
criminal wrongdoing. It is perhaps no surprise then that there is an entire
criminal law devoted to describing and penalizing
juvenile crimes. It must be noted, though, that the criminal justice system that adults
arrested, charged, or convicted of a crime is
not the same system that juveniles will face. For a criminal case involving
a minor defendant, the Juvenile Justice System (JJS) will be used instead.
The JJS wants to rehabilitate a juvenile offender far more than it wants
to penalize them. In many regards, this provides an ample amount of leniency
to minors who have committed a crime when compared to an adult who committed
a similar or identical crime. However, just like with the criminal justice
system for adults in Florida, the arrests and convictions placed on a
juvenile’s criminal record in Florida
do not automatically get removed. Many years can go by and the marks may still remain.
Using Expungement to Clean Your Juvenile Record
Since the Juvenile Justice System does not want to destroy a minor’s
expungement can be used to remove marks, and record sealing can be used to hide the
marks that cannot be erased. The expungement process for juvenile records
is more lenient than the same process for adults as well. Each conviction
or arrest is bound to a one-expungement attempt rule, though, meaning
if the parent or guardian of a juvenile files for an expungement and it
is denied, it cannot be expunged ever.
Most violent crimes and
sex crimes committed by juveniles cannot be expunged, such as:
- Unlawful firearm use or possession
- Animal cruelty
- Sexual misconduct
- Any sex crime that required sexual offender registration
Additionally, a minor can be tried in an adult court and be moved through
the adult criminal justice system if he or she is charged with severe
crimes, such as grand theft, rape, or murder. Cases taken to adult court
are unlikely to be eligible for expungement, even if the minor is not
How Private is Your Juvenile Record?
Certain employers, banks, landlords, and educational institutions do have
the right to ask you if you have ever been convicted of a crime while
reviewing your application or discussing opportunities at that organization.
If you were convicted as a juvenile, then you will still need to tell
them that you were convicted but be sure to mention that it was for a
juvenile offense. You may not even need to divulge any of the information
regarding that juvenile offense, but instead just say that you were convicted
as a minor. To this extent, the JJS can once again feel more lenient than
the usual criminal justice system.
After your child has been arrested or convicted as a juvenile, it is important
to go over all the options of expungement, record sealing, and the like
with a trusted criminal defense attorney. At Albaugh Law Firm, you can
find a team of highly-experienced and highly-decorated St. Augustine juvenile
defense attorneys dedicated to the future wellbeing of your child. We
can help you understand your child’s rights and what to do next
to protect them to the fullest.
Call 904.637.1839 for our St. Augustine criminal defense law firm –
or 904.450.5313 for our Jacksonville criminal defense law firm –
and schedule a
free consultation today.