As a parent, you never want your teenager to get into trouble, much less with the law, but unfortunately, it does happen. Even if your teenager admits to their mistake and wishes to move forward as a law-abiding citizen, a juvenile record can be a dark cloud that hangs over their head.
Juvenile Record Access Changes with Florida Law
In 1994, Florida laws governing the confidentiality of juvenile records changed. The law now allows law enforcement agencies to disclose the name, address and photograph of any juvenile arrested for a felony to the general public. This means that for a small fee the general public can have access to a minor’s criminal history provided by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Will My Teenager Be Tried as a Juvenile or Adult?
If your teenager has committed a crime and is in his or her late teens, many parents wonder if the judge will try the teenager as a juvenile or adult.
The answer to this question is often determined by the teenagers’ past history with the law and the severity of their crime. It is also important that you hire an experienced attorney to represent your teenager’s rights.
Transitioning to Adulthood with a Juvenile Record
Do colleges look at juvenile records? Yes, they can.
Does the military look at juvenile records? Yes, they can.
In the state of Florida, the Department of Law Enforcement may keep a youth’s criminal record until the age of 24. Because of this, many young adults with a juvenile record can have problems pursuing a college degree or joining the military, as both institutions will have access to their juvenile record.
For many colleges and other post-secondary programs, a juvenile record does not automatically make a person ineligible for admittance, but it does often require explanation.
Unfortunately, having a juvenile record can cause trouble when enlisting in the military. Some branches of the military are allowed to apply their own rules and regulations. If your child has a juvenile record, he or she may be required to complete a criminal history waiver that must be approved to enlist.
How to Answer Tough Application Questions
When applying for college or a post-secondary education program, your student may be asked to answer if they have ever been adjudicated delinquent. It is very important that they answer this question truthfully. Guidance from a qualified attorney can help you on how to answer those questions correctly.
Avoid the Stresses of a Juvenile Record
At Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins, P.A., as parents ourselves, we understand that you want to take every step possible to protect your child’s record. If your teenager was recently arrested on criminal charges, call us today or submit a contact request form for your free consultation.