Do you want to enter the military, go to college, or find a job? It may be more difficult than you think if you have a juvenile record in the state of Florida. If some legislators have their way, it will become easier to expunge criminal records that pertain to juveniles.

Under current Florida law, there is a specific amount of time that must pass before a conviction can be expunged. If you are committed to a correctional facility as a child or teenager, you must wait until your 26 birthday to have your records erased from your criminal history.

The proposed bill would not apply to juveniles convicted of violent or serious offenses such as murder, rape, or robbery. Instead, the expungement laws would apply to lesser offenses such as traffic citations and misdemeanors. According to child advocates in the state, retention of these lesser charges can negatively impact the opportunities for adults to move their lives forward.

It is a common misconception that juvenile records magically disappear once an offender turns 18. This is far from the truth, as many past offenders have discovered. Your juvenile record can fall you into young adulthood, making it difficult to make positive changes in your life, support yourself, or even support a family. Imagine committing a minor crime as a teenager that causes you to flounder as an adult.

Before the bill was introduced, the state of Florida had a reputation as being one of the worst when it came to protecting the privacy of juvenile offenders. In fact, the state was ranked 32nd in terms of having adequate policies in place for sealing or expunging juvenile records.

HB 205 was introduced with the intent of giving juvenile offenders a second chance. The bill gives juveniles and young adults a chance to move beyond their mistakes and into a positive, productive life. Children make mistakes, and those mistakes should not haunt them for the rest of their lives.

If you have a juvenile or adult charge that you would like expunged from your record, you must follow several steps. The process is not necessarily an easy one. You have a better chance of having your record expunged if you utilize the assistance of an experienced attorney. Reach out to us today so that we can review your records and provide you with the best course of action. Your future could depend on it.

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