New law gives juvenile offenders a second chance

Want a clean slate? The Juvenile Diversion Program Expunction can help

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A new law was enacted on Friday that will give juvenile offenders a second chance.

Expungement opportunities will be given to 26,000 youthful offenders who have felonies on their records.

A diversion program that allows those with first-time misdemeanor arrests to have their record expunged has been expanded under a new law.

HB 195, the Juvenile Diversion Program Expunction, expands juvenile expunction laws to include felonies -- except for forcible felonies -- and arrests beyond a minor’s first offense. Forcible felonies include murder, rape and kidnapping, among others.

Arrests -- even without a conviction -- can make attending college, renting a home, and finding employment a greater challenge.

Were you convicted of a felony as a juvenile that you wish could be taken off your record? How would having this expunged change your life for the better? We want to hear your story. Let us know below.

Eligibility is determined by Florida statutes. Severe offenses such as sexual misconduct, murder, manslaughter, aggravated assault, human and drug trafficking, arson and child abuse disqualify a person from expungement or sealing.

About the Authors:

Carianne Luter is a social media producer for News4Jax and has worked at Channel 4 since December 2015. She graduated from the University of North Florida with a communication degree.

Tarik anchors the 4, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. weekday newscasts and reports with the I-TEAM.