Juvenile crimes are offenses committed by children and teens under the age of 18. A common misconception concerning these crimes is that once the juvenile becomes an adult, their juvenile record is always expunged and they no longer have a criminal record. This cannot be further from the truth, according to an article in The Palm Beach Post.
Juvenile crimes in Florida can still come back to haunt adults even after they've straightened out their lives. A 29-year-old woman, who was first arrested at 12 years-old, found herself being charged as an adult for felony grand larceny and burglary when she was 17-years-old. Now, those records are creating challenges for her as an adult more than 10 years later, despite the fact that she recently graduated from Florida International University law school and has long left that life behind.
Because she was charged as an adult when she was 17-years-old, her crimes will stay on her record. As a result, simple tasks, like trying to rent an apartment, become much more challenging. In fact, the 29-year-old law school graduate was only able to rent an apartment in a bad neighborhood when she first moved to Miami because most desirable locations have condo associations with strict rules concerning criminal records.
According to the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011, there were 5,482 juvenile crimes in Palm Beach County. Of these, 211 juveniles were charged as adults. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) is required to disclose all criminal history records, including juvenile offenses, unless the records were expunged or sealed, which only occurs under certain circumstances.
Being arrested for a juvenile crime in Florida should not be taken lightly. A juvenile criminal record may create obstacles for the rest of your life. At Musca Law, our aggressive Palm Beach County juvenile crime defense attorneys recognize the potential threat of a juvenile criminal record and will provide the effective representation you need to protect your future. If your child has been arrested for a juvenile crime in Florida, contact us today at (888) 484-5057 to learn more about your child's legal rights and options.