Expungement of Florida Juvenile Records
In addition to the regular expungement
process used most frequently in Florida, there are three other key
processes for expunging nonjudicial juvenile criminal history records and denying
access to those records by the general public. The other three processes
for felony or misdemeanor juvenile records are
Juvenile Diversion Expungement
Juvenile diversion expungement is a process, under Section 943.0582,
Florida Statutes, used to expunge a specific type of juvenile criminal
history record. Timely application for this process is critical!
Some of the key requirements for this process are as follows:
(1) The person successfully completed an authorized prearrest or
postarrest diversion program for minors which a) is limited to
first-time minor offenders who are arrested for a "nonviolent misdemeanor"
that would not qualify as an act of domestic violence (as that term is defined in
Section 741.28, Florida Statutes),
and who have not otherwise been charged with or found to have committed
any criminal offense or comparable ordinance violation; and b)
expressly authorizes or permits this type of expungement;
(2) The person submits the required state application packet for
expungement no later than 6 months after completion of the diversion
(3) Prior to filing the application, the person had never been
charged with or been found to have committed any criminal offense or
comparable ordinance violation.
The state application for the juvenile diversion expungement process
includes a section which requires certification by the relevant
state attorney that the applicant has successfully completed the
authorized type of prearrest or postarrest diversion program.
The completed application must be filed with the Florida Department of
Law Enforcement (FDLE), along with the applicant's fingerprints
and the required state application processing fee of $75.00.
If the applicant is under 18 at the time the application is signed
and notarized, the applicant's parent or legal guardian must
also sign the application. If FDLE determines that the applicant
meets the statutory requirements for expungement under this process,
the agency will expunge the person's record and provide notifications
as required by law.
The "expungement" of records under this process is different
than under the regular expunge process mentioned above
(under Section 943.0585, Florida Statutes). Florida law requires
local criminal justice agencies in the county in which the minor was arrested
to seal records which are eligible under this process - not to
shred or destroy them, as is required under the regular expungement process
described above. In addition, a person's "expunged" record under this
process must be made available to a criminal justice agency when the
agency must determine the person's eligibility for a prearrest, postarrest,
or teen court diversion program; when the record is sought as part of a
criminal investigation; or when the person applies for a job with the agency.
Under the regular expungement process, your records must be
destroyed, except for the record maintained by FDLE.
One advantage to using the juvenile diversion expungement process
is that it will not prohibit a person from applying to seal or expunge
a different record using the regular process discussed above, under Section
943.0585 or 943.059, Florida Statutes.
Another advantage to the juvenile diversion expungement process is that
there is no statutory requirement to file a petition for a court order
to have a person's nonjudicial juvenile record expunged. A court order is required
in the regular expunge process.
Automatic juvenile record expungement
Before applying for juvenile diversion expungement, you should consider
a few things about nonjudicial juvenile arrest records in Florida. First, the
Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) maintains Florida's database
of criminal history records. Based on Florida law, some juvenile arrest records
are not available from FDLE which were created during a certain period of time. Others are
not available because they are automatically expunged after a certain period of time.
Prior to October 1, 1994, FDLE did not maintain juvenile arrest records in
its database. So, juvenile arrest records for felonies before October 1, 1994,
and those for misdemeanors before July 1, 1996, are not available to the public
from FDLE's database, unless the juvenile was treated as an adult in the criminal
Under specific conditions, certain nonjudicial juvenile records in Florida
are automatically expunged by FDLE when the person reaches the age of 24 or 26.
Some juvenile records must be merged with a person's adult record. The conditions
can get a little complicated and include several factors such as the nature of the
charges, the disposition of the case, and the date of the arrest. You can read more
about these conditions and Florida juvenile arrest records in
Section 943.0515, Florida Statutes.
The above-referenced automatic expungement of juvenile records only applies to records
maintained by FDLE. Other laws apply to juvenile records located at other agencies
or entities (such as Section 985.04, Florida Statutes).
Request a review of your eligibility for Juvenile Diversion Expungement.
It includes a FREE Online Prescreening.
If you know that you do not qualify for the juvenile diversion expungement process,
you can review some information which can help you
find out if you can use the regular seal or expungement process in Florida;
or you can ask the Firm for an Eligibility Review, for the regular process.