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Tampa Criminal Attorney > Blog > Criminal Defense > Five Indirect Effects of a Juvenile Criminal Conviction

Five Indirect Effects of a Juvenile Criminal Conviction


Some parents believe that troubled children should “take their medicine” and face the full consequences of their actions in juvenile court. The problem with this approach is that, in many cases, the medicine is much stronger than parents believe it is. Juvenile criminal convictions usually have consequences that affect children for years to come.

Many parents are completely unaware of these consequences. Judges aren’t legally required to inform children of collateral consequences if they plead guilty and accept a plea-bargained sentence, which is usually the case. So, a good Tampa juvenile charges lawyer informs families of these consequences in advance. No one likes unpleasant surprises.

Unintentional Record Disclosure

The country is legally required to limit the release of juvenile criminal records. Clerks are usually, but not always, very diligent in this area. Juvenile records have been unintentionally disclosed, or wrongfully disclosed, in the past, and this disclosure will happen again. Such disclosure is embarrassing at best and disastrous at worst.

Trouble at School

Mostly because of recent high-profile school mass shootings, school administrators are on high alert. If a student presents a possible safety problem, they often over-react in the short term. In the long term, this over-reaction could mean a label that follows the child for years.

This collateral consequence might be the worst one. In many cases, trouble at school lit the fuse that ended in a criminal matter. The last thing these children need is more trouble at school.

Higher Education Issues

Administrators don’t toss permanent records into the trash the day children graduate high school. Any discipline or behavioral issues in high school have continual effects, and not just in the classroom.

Technically, criminal convictions don’t disqualify students from receiving federal financial aid. However, a criminal conviction moves these students to the end of the line. By the time their name is called, most of the available money is usually gone. Furthermore, privately-funded scholarships have their own eligibility requirements.

We should briefly mention the difference between regular probation and deferred disposition probation. Technically, a judge does not enter a finding of guilt in most deferred disposition matters.

Drivers’ License Suspension

This collateral consequence is very common in juvenile cases, even in drug possession matters and other cases that have nothing to do with driving. If the defendant didn’t have a license, perhaps due to age, the defendant must wait longer to apply for a drivers’ license.

Suspended licenses don’t magically become active when the suspension period ends. Until the driver applies for reinstatement, pays certain fees, and the state grants that application, his/her drivers’ license is still suspended.

If the court revokes the license, as it does in some cases. When the revocation period ends, the juvenile must reapply from the beginning.

Public Assistance Suspension

Collateral consequences of criminal convictions don’t just affect defendants. In most cases, if the child is removed to a secure halfway house or other secure facility, the family automatically loses eligibility for TANF and other such government benefits. Furthermore, since the family size changes, they could lose other benefits as well.

This suspension is much like a drivers’ license suspension. The family must re-apply for benefits once the child returns home.

 Work With a Dedicated Hillsborough County Attorney

A criminal charge is not the same thing as a criminal conviction. For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Tampa, contact the OA Law Firm. Convenient payment plans are available.



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