In Florida's juvenile justice system there are several means by which a juvenile can avoid having a permanent record which could significantly impact their future.  Please 1) identify at least one...

In Florida's juvenile justice system there are several means by which a juvenile can avoid having a permanent record which could significantly impact their future.  Please 1) identify at least one (1) process by which a juvenile can avoid a permanent record, 2) explain the benefits to both the juvenile and the juvenile justice system for using this process and 3) explain in detail what ramifications a juvenile may face if they fail to comply with the process.

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In the state of Florida, juvenile offenders can petition to have their records sealed or expunged. This means that the record will not be generally available to the public, except in very limited circumstances, such as the offender applying for employment in the field of criminal justice. To petition successfully, the offender has to meet certain fairly strict criteria. First, the juvenile cannot be a habitual offender, have engaged in criminal activity during the petitioning process (in addition to the initial offense), or be guilty of a serious crime (see the second and third links below for a fuller list of details). 

The main benefit of this is to not turn a minor youthful misjudgment into something that will follow the young person throughout his life, making it harder for him to find jobs and more likely for him to re-offend. A kid who steals a piece of candy from a shop, buys a beer with a fake ID, or spray paints a bridge on a dare is certainly behaving badly, but is not necessarily a hardened criminal. 

A juvenile who does not go through the proper process of having a record expunged or sealed will have the criminal activity reported when applying for jobs or loans, making it much harder to obtain credit and employment.

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