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Juvenile Criminal History Records – Seal or Expunge?

Posted by Fred Koberlein, Jr. | Nov 14, 2015 | 0 Comments

If certain qualifications are met, the FDLE automatically expunges juvenile criminal history records, without merging them with future adult criminal history records, after a five-year period.  If you want to learn more about the possible steps to take with your record, you need a criminal attorney in either Lake City or Gainesville to walk you through your options. The qualifications and time periods are listed below:

Schedule for Automatic Expunction of Juvenile Criminal History Record, per s. 943.0515, FL Statutes:

5 years after the date of the minor's 19th birthday (24thbirthday)

1.     If the minor has not been classified as a serious or habitual offender (committed a single misdemeanor),

2.     Has not been committed to a juvenile correctional facility, and

3.     Has not been charged or convicted of a forcible felony during that period.

5 years after the date of the minor's 21st birthday (26thbirthday)

1.     If the minor has been classified as a serious or habitual offender (committed a felony or multiple crimes) or committed to a juvenile correctional facility, but

2.     Has not been charged with a forcible felony as an adult (regardless of minor status at the time of charging).

Never—juvenile record merges with adult record

1.     If the minor has been adjudicated as an adult for a forcible felony, or

2.     If a person over the age of 18 is charged or convicted of a forcible felony before the record has been destroyed pursuant to the time periods listed above.

Generally, if the crime is a minor, non-violent offense, and the minor was never committed to a correctional facility, and he or she stays out of trouble, the juvenile record will be automatically sealed at age 24. If there were multiple crimes, or one more serious crime, the record will be sealed at age 26. However, if the defendant gets in trouble again before automatic expunction, then the previous offenses will be merged with that person's adult record. If you have a record from a juvenile offense in Florida, it's in your best interest to consult with a Lake City defense attorney to understand your rights and next steps.

If a Lake City juvenile defendant successfully completes a qualified diversion program, he or she may be qualified to have the juvenile criminal history record expunged earlier than the schedule listed above, or at the time of completion of a pre-arrest or post-arrest diversion program.

The qualified diversion program must be one that expressly authorizes early expunction, and the minor cannot qualify if he or she has been charged or conviction by the state attorney prior to submitting the application. Certain requirements must be satisfied to qualify for early expunction.

To qualify, the minor defendant must have committed an infraction that is a non-violent misdemeanor, and must submit an application for expunction within 12 months of completion of the program, which must include:

  • A parent or legal guardian's signature (or the defendant's signature if he/she has turned 18), and
  • An official written statement from the state attorney, certifying successful completion of the program, that the Alachua County juvenile arrest was for a non-violent misdemeanor, and that no other charges are pending with that office.

Florida Statutes, s. 943.0582(3)(a)-(f) lists the requirements to expunge the record of a minor who has completed a diversion program:

“(3) The department shall expunge the non-judicial arrest record of a minor who has successfully completed a pre-arrest or post-arrest diversion program if that minor:

(a) Submits an application for pre-arrest or post-arrest diversion expunction, on a form prescribed by the department, signed by the minor's parent or legal guardian, or by the minor if he or she has reached the age of majority at the time of applying.

(b) Submits the application for pre-arrest or post-arrest diversion expunction no later than 12 months after completion of the diversion program.

(c) Submits to the department, with the application, an official written statement from the state attorney for the county in which the arrest occurred certifying that he or she has successfully completed that county's pre-arrest or post-arrest diversion program, that his or her participation in the program was based on an arrest for a nonviolent misdemeanor, and that he or she has not otherwise been charged by the state attorney with or found to have committed any criminal offense or comparable ordinance violation.

(d) Participated in a pre-arrest or post-arrest diversion program that expressly authorizes or permits such expunction to occur.

(e) Participated in a pre-arrest or post-arrest diversion program based on an arrest for a nonviolent misdemeanor that would not qualify as an act of domestic violence as that term is defined in s. 741.28.

(f) Has never, prior to filing the application for expunction, been charged by the state attorney with or been found to have committed any criminal offense or comparable ordinance violation.” FL Stat., s. 943.0582(3)(a)-(f).

If you have questions concerning the sealing or expunging process of criminal history records contact Koberlein Law Offices at www.FlaLegalHelp.com or by calling either our Lake City, Florida or Gainesville, Florida offices free of charge.  We will be happy to help answer your questions. Don't hesitate to get the help you need from a criminal defense lawyer.

About the Author

Fred Koberlein, Jr.

Fred Koberlein is a trial attorney who opened Koberlein Law Offices after acquiring extensive legal experience in three legal practice areas, which are: personal injury law; criminal defense; and local government matters which require you to appear or present your matter before your local government Boards, government Councils, and government Agencies. Mr. Koberlein began trial preparation through an externship as a legal clerk with the Judges of the Third Judicial Circuit for Florida prior to his graduation from the University of Florida, College of Law.  After law school Mr. Koberlein was dedicated to becoming a trial attorney and worked with the Public Defender's Office from 2004 to 2007, where he was promoted to handling felony cases within eight months of hire.  Mr.  Koberlein has handled over 1500 criminal cases ranging from possession of cannabis, DUI, serious felonies, white-collar crimes, violations of probation hearings, and countless motion hearings. Mr.  Koberlein began practicing in the areas of personal injury and insurance defense during 2006.  Mr. Koberlein's experience in prosecuting personal injury claims against those insurance companies he was not representing and defending other insurance companies and their customers provided a unique experience where he was able to learn what each side anticipates from the opposing party.Next, Mr. Koberlein was hired by a City to defend the City's interests and three additional Cities quickly followed and retained Mr. Koberlein to protect their interests.  Currently, Mr. Koberlein represents a total of four (4) municipalities in the North Florida area.  As Mr. Koberlein focused on civil litigation he remained passionate about representing individuals charged with misdemeanor and felony crimes as well as civil litigation issues. Mr.  Koberlein has the experience and reputation to negotiate a favorable resolution in your matter, and if that is not possible, to provide the best, most zealous trial representation available.  Utilizing competent and trusted investigators and experts, your case will be prepared so that the best result will be achieved.  If you or a loved one is hurt, damaged, or is facing criminal charges, you want a qualified, hard-working attorney who will explain your options to you in a straightforward, commonsense, and honest manner. Education and Practice Experience: University of Florida; Gainesville, Florida; Bachelor of Science, 1997 University of South Florida; Tampa, Florida; 1998 University of Florida, College of Law; Gainesville, Florida; 2003 Bar and Court Admissions: Florida Bar, 2004 – Present All 67 Counties in Florida All 20 Circuits in Florida U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida Professional and Civic Activities: Florida Bar Trial Lawyers, 2007 – Present Florida Bar Business Law Section, 2007 – Present Florida Bar Criminal Law Section, 2004 – Present Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2004 – Present Third Judicial Bar Association, 2004 – Present Mr.  Koberlein is committed to his clients and devotes himself to protecting their interests from the beginning to the end of their case.  Mr. Koberlein has spent his career helping clients defend themselves against criminal charges, fight insurance companies, and proceed through the bureaucratic process of local governments.  Mr. Koberlein welcomes the opportunity to meet with you and evaluate your legal needs and provide you with an experienced and competent analysis.

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