In the state of Florida, any person under the age of eighteen is considered a juvenile. When a person of this age group is accused or arrested for an offense, they are processed through the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). As such, all records (including court files and case information) is automatically considered confidential under Florida statute, with a single exception; felony charges. In that instance, some information may not be confidential. This includes the minors name, address, photograph and arrest report.
Who exactly gets the juveniles information if they are charged with a felony? The information becomes public record and accessible to the general public. This includes family, neighbors, friend, ect. On top of this, the superintended of the child’s school must be notified. Soon after (within 48 hours) any person who has direct supervision of the child must be notified. This includes teachers, principals and even the child’s bus driver. This can leave a child stigmatized or worse.
What can be done to prevent permanent damage to your child’s reputation in this situation? First and foremost, it’s likely time to lawyer up. A qualified lawyer will be able to navigate the DJJ system and provide the best possible solution to your child’s problem.
Some things to always remember when you or your child are accused of a criminal offense: Don’t talk to the police without your lawyer present. Anything you say can and will likely be used against you. Law enforcement cannot promise anything. Law enforcement can lie.
When facing allegations of juvenile crimes, you need aggressive and experienced representation. Please call our office for immediate assistance, time is not always on your side.