Juvenile Diversion Programs
Victim of “The Wrong Crowd?”
Perhaps you did something illegal on a dare, or in an effort to prove yourself, or to gain respect from someone older or more powerful. Maybe you feel you’ve just had a string of bad luck behind the wheel. A juvenile diversion program can make a life changing difference for you if you’re under the age of 18 and found yourself on the wrong side of the law.
If you’re heading to court for traffic violations, misdemeanor drug charges, truancy, or other first-time misdemeanor charges as a juvenile, there’s little doubt that you should apply for a juvenile diversion program to help you regain your footing and help prevent a downward slide into more serious crimes as an adult.
Juvenile Diversion Programs
No one wants anyone, especially kids, to fall into the court system and begin the vicious cycle of crime and court, court and crime. Because the world is a better place if we can help kids, the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court created multiple diversion programs for juveniles, and even programs for siblings of juvenile court defendants to help prevent “following in big brother or sister’s shoes.”
With completion of a juvenile diversion program, you likely can avoid an arrest record for your potential misdemeanor charge. Because a clean record can help ensure your future employment and even scholarships, a program like this can potentially save your life.
There is a benefit to the court system as well: the court can focus on more serious juvenile crime, thus decreasing the case load burden on the courts if lesser crimes can be addressed in teen court. Juvenile diversion programs are similar to those for adults. Visit July’s blog for more details and a general overview of diversion programs.
Juvenile Diversion Programs Vary
Juvenile diversion programs are different from state to state and even county to county. A diversion program offered in Pinellas County may have different requirements and parameters for participation than those in Hillsborough County. Even within the Sixth Judicial District which contains Pasco and Pinellas Counties, juvenile diversion programs are different. Make sure you’re looking at the correct criteria if you are looking to apply for a judicial diversion program.
Types of Juvenile Diversion Programs in Pinellas County
Keeping in mind that diversion programs vary by county, Pinellas County has the following offerings for juvenile diversion programs:
- Teen court (including Traffic Court and Truancy Court)
- Juvenile Drug Court
- At-Risk Intervention and Motivation (AIM) for siblings of at-risk youth
- Service & Treatment for Offender Prevention (STOP) for repeat misdemeanor juvenile offenders and/or some third degree felony offenders
What Is Expected of Me as a Juvenile in a Diversion Program?
There are stipulations associated with each type of diversion program. Often you can expect that school attendance or employment records will be monitored. Completion of community service, counseling, educational classes and perhaps letters of apology or essays can be required as part of juvenile arbitration. Tours of prison or funeral homes, weekly mandatory phone calls and follow-up hearings can be part of the process as well. Crime is serious. To avoid having a criminal record, serious steps must be followed.
As a juvenile who is new to the court system, a diversion program might be your best defense! Bartlett Law Offices is familiar with Diversion Programs for juveniles. We will help you find the most successful outcome possible for your case and help you navigate all the judicial system requirements for acceptance in a diversion program. Give us a call or visit our webpage and fill out our simple form. We can even text you back. We’re available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m at 727-712-7502.
We believe that before you are in need of a second chance, you need the best defense for your first chance! Bartlett Law Offices has the experience you need to handle any criminal charges against you. You can trust that we will provide you with a professional, ethical, and knowledgeable defense.
More to Read
And for some additional reading, visit the online Office Of The State Attorney Sixth Judicial Circuit of Florida.
NOTE: This information is specific to Florida. Laws in other states vary, and you should seek counsel in your own state. None of these statements is intended to replace professional counsel regarding your specific issue as the nuances of the law are vast and complex.