Crimes committed while a person is a juvenile are usually treated with more leniency by the criminal code. This is in part because society appreciates the distinctions in maturity and judgment between adults and those not considered adults by law. Despite that appreciation, each state takes a slightly different approach to how the records of juveniles are treated and how quickly they may be expunged. As minors enter into adulthood, crimes committed while a juvenile can become a concern in employment and other important areas. Florida has a clear policy regarding the expungement of juvenile criminal records, which is discussed below.
How Long After a Juvenile Conviction Are Records Expunged?
The State of Florida retains the criminal record “of a minor who is classified as a serious or habitual offender” or one who was in a juvenile detention center for five years after the minor reaches 21 years of age. The record is eligible for expunging at that time. If the minor is not classified as a serious or habitual juvenile, the record can be expunged two years after the minor reaches 19 years of age. More serious crimes, such as a forcible felony, may be merged into an adult criminal record.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement states three additional considerations pertaining to record keeping of juvenile crimes in Florida:
- If certain qualifications are met, automatic expungement of juvenile criminal records can occur at age 21 or 26.
- Diversion programs that are completed can allow for record expungement
- Some juvenile records are not accessible to the public depending on their classification
Call a St. Petersburg Criminal Defense Attorney to Learn More About Clearing Your Criminal Record
Past crimes as a minor are often the result of mistakes attributable to immaturity and a number of other factors tied to adolescence. When minors become adults, sometimes these past crimes can be a factor in effectively transitioning into adulthood and finding appropriate and fulfilling employment. Fortunately, the state of Florida does provide opportunities for minors to start afresh as adults. Schedule a free evaluation with a St. Petersburg Criminal Lawyer to learn more about how to clean up your record by calling Khonsari Law Group today at 727-269-5300. You can also send us an email through our online contact form.