Juvenile Sentencing & Expungement
Although a juvenile who is charged with a Misdemeanor or Felony offense can face anything from probation to high levels of detention, there are viable options for many offenders. One of the best alternatives for first time offenders are the Direct Diversion programs and/or a "Plan" offered through the State Attorney's office. Both of these programs are run at the prosecutor's sole discretion. However, our office has been able to get many people into these programs, which has the benefit of keeping a serious mark off their record.Direct Diversion
This is an excellent alternative that is available for those juveniles accused of non-violent misdemeanors and sometimes non-violent felonies. The greatest advantage is that there is no Court order involved or Clerk's file opened. Once a person completes this program, the State attorney automatically expunges this from the Juvenile's record. However, there are limitations. For example, it must be filed within 6 months of completing the program in order for the state to expunge. Having our firm take action quickly is key to helping juveniles in these types of cases.Judicial Plans
This is also a good alternative to having a juvenile record. This is available on misdemeanors and most (but not all) second and third degree felonies. Again, the great advantage to participating in a plan and successfully completing the program is that the charge is not on a person's juvenile record.
NOTE: Contrary to popular belief, a juvenile charge counts for purposes of enhancement if that person gets a felony as an adult. In other words, having an attorney assist you is not about what is going to happen now, even if one receives a light sentence, but what is going to happen 5-10 years from now.Juvenile Record Expungement
Florida allows for "automatic expunction" by statute once a person reaches the age of 24. This ONLY applies if a person has not been found delinquent of a juvenile offense between the time of the juvenile offense and age 24. If they have been found delinquent, then they must wait until age 26. However, this expungement doesn't always cover all records as some agencies, such as police departments, are not required to adhere to this "automatic" expunction.
Contact the Law Office of Craig Epifanio, P.A. to make sure that you or your minor child do not allow a mistake to ruin the rest of that child's life. The initial consultation is free and I we can meet at my St. Petersburg or Tampa location to advise you of the proper course of action that can be taken.