Florida Juvenile Expungements
For Qualified Diversion Programs
Information provided by Eric J. Dirga, P.A., Orlando - Statewide Service
Oddly enough, juvenile records seem to be available to private database companies (those companies on the web that claim to provide background checks). By law juvenile records are confidential and exempt from public records, however they are still being disclosed by these private companies. Such disclosure can be remedied by an expungement or sealing. In addition, if the juvenile qualifies, Florida law allows for a
juvenile expungement that does not count as the one time use of the statute - it is a one-time freebie.
Juvenile Must Completed a Diversion Program
The child must have successfully completed prehearing diversion program, such as teen court, and the offense must not be considered violent in order to qualify for the juvenile expunction. The best way to ensure that your child qualifies is to have the attorney defending your child make sure that all the right steps are taken during your child's case. We can determine your child's eligibility with a simple phone call.
Juvenile Expungement Must Be Completed Within 12 Months
Law was amended in 2013 to increase the time to complete this process from 6 to 12 months. Additionally, the law removed the
qualified diversion program placing emphasis on a
Juveniles charged with a qualifying offense that have successfully completed a diversion program can request that criminal arrest history be expunged pursuant to section 943.0582, Florida Statutes. A Juvenile may request an arrest history be expunged if he/she meets certain criteria. The case must have been resolved by successful completion of a diversion program that expressly authorizes this type of expungement. The request application must be filed within 12 months of the completion date of the diversion program. This type of expungement does not count towards a section 943.0585 or section 943.059 sealing or expungement (which is available only once per person).
Juveniles Can Utilize One-Time Sealing and Expunging Statute
If a juvenile does not qualify for a qualified expungement either because of the nature of the charge or the time period has passed he or she may still utilize the one-time use sealing or expungement statutes.
In the interest of N.P.K., 3 F.L.W. Supp. 414b (15th Jud. Cir., June 19, 1995): Juvenile can seek the benefits of s. 943.059, Fla. Stat.
Utilizing this method will use up the child's one-time benefit but may be required so that the child is not hampered with a youthful mistake right out of the box.
Retention of Criminal History Records of Minors
Juveniles that have been classified as serious or habitual juvenile offenders or committed to a juvenile correctional facility or juvenile prison will have their criminal history maintained until their 26th birthday. All other juveniles will have their criminal history record maintained until their 24th birthday. If, before age 18, the juvenile is adjudicated as an adult for - or, after age 18, the juvenile commits a forcible felony, then the juvenile record is permanently merged with his/her adult record.
This information is from section 943.0515, Florida Statutes. If you are over the age of 26 and your background check still reflects your juvenile arrests you may need to seal or expunge your record or have the Florida Department of Law Enforcement correct your record. It is unclear what it means to
maintain a record or what happens to a record when it is no longer
The purpose of publishing this information is to help judges, attorneys and non-lawyers better understand this area of law. We appreciate any input that may further this goal.
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