During a day of shopping, a mother and minor daughter’s quality time was cut short. At a department store, security officers observed the mother and daughter placing bottles of perfume testers off of the cosmetic counter and into their bags. Both mother and child were arrested and charged with Felony Theft.
Felony theft in Florida is defined as taking any property that is valued at $300 or more in an unlawful and intentional manner. It is often called Grand Theft and is done to the property owner to deprive them of their belongings.
Juvenile Diversion Program
A juvenile diversion program is a program that was designed to be an alternative to the justice system that is in place for youth under age 18. They essentially give a second chance to individuals who have not been convicted of any crimes. A youth’s behavior will be addressed, providing youth with a better outcome than incarceration. Intervening in the early stages of delinquency could mean fewer problems in the future. There are many forms of diversion programs, including, but not limited to Girls and Boys Clubs, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Civil Citation, community arbitration, mentoring programs, and alternative schools.
A probation officer is assigned to each juvenile who enters any diversion program. The probation officer will help the juvenile connect with service personnel and will also monitor the offender’s compliance with their probation terms.
Conditions that often need to be met under a juvenile diversion program include the following:
- No victim contact
- Letter of apology to the victims
- Mental health or substance abuse counseling
- Referrals to social service agencies
- Driver’s license suspension
- Community service
- School attendance
- Avoiding contact with those that are deemed as inappropriate associations
Diversion programs will be monitored closely to ensure the juvenile is receiving the help they need in order to not offend again in the future.
Expunging a Record
In Florida, a record can be expunged after the defendant has completed all aspects of their juvenile diversion program. The record will be removed from the system and destroyed.
Obtaining Attorney Services
If you have been convicted of felony theft, the best advice would be to obtain a criminal attorney. Attorneys will have the knowledge to seek out a diversion program so records of your criminal act can be expunged. As the process of expunging a record can be a long, tedious process, it is in the best interest of yourself to hire an attorney that will be able to submit all forms and applications that are needed to get into a diversion program, and also expunge a record.
RESULT: The minor daughter had no prior record. In an effort to keep the minor Defendant safe out of the Court system, the Attorney successfully arranged for her to participate in a juvenile diversion program. The young Client completed the program and the State DROPPED all charges. Our minor Client is now eligible to have her record expunged.