In Florida, truancy, which is most commonly known as “skipping school,” is under the jurisdiction of the Truancy Court of the Ninth Judicial Circuit of Orange County. Under Section 1003.26 of the Florida State Statute, truancy is defined as a juvenile offense that can be charged to anyone under the age of 16 who fails to attend school on a regular basis.
The state understands that minors are still developing. Thus the laws juveniles are upheld to differ from that of adults. However, when a juvenile offense is committed, both the child and parent can face consequences. This where an Orlando juvenile truancy lawyer can help.
The Florida Truancy laws state that any child between the ages of 6 and 16 must attend school. If a student’s 16th birthday happens during a school year, they are no longer required to attend but must make a formal filing that indicated their decision to end their academic enrollment.
Habitual absence from school is often considered an indicator of larger issues in a child’s life. It can also be a precursor to other and more serious criminal activity. Studies have shown that truants are more inclined to commit more serious crimes and are more likely to drink alcohol and do drugs.
A student becomes truant when they miss a certain number of days within a specified time and without a valid reason or excuse. Florida considers a “habitual truant” to be any student of elementary school age through age 16 who has:
Not only can a child be arrested but their parents as well. Florida has begun to conduct truancy sweeps, and many parents have been charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and failing to comply with attendance laws. Both are misdemeanor offenses, but can still result in steep fines and even jail time.
To best navigate the laws surrounding compulsory school attendance, families should seek the advice of a juvenile lawyer. A seasoned Orlando juvenile truancy lawyer will be familiar with the rules regarding middle and high school attendance in Orange County. Violation of these laws by parents is considered a second-degree misdemeanor. For the offending child, consequences can include:
If a child is picked up for habitual absences, he or she may be taken directly to a juvenile detention center. The juvenile court can issue several different types of punishments on minors and parents including:
The juvenile justice system is very different than that for adults. Separate courts, facilities, rules, procedures, and laws exist for the protection of the welfare of the child. The rules and systems can be confusing, and a strong juvenile truancy lawyer can guide you through the process.
An Orlando truancy lawyer with The Umansky Law Firm can provide the appropriate advice and counsel with regard to these serious matters, having been quoted by numerous national media outlets like The Wall Street Journal, NBC, CBS, FOX on various legal topics. Contact our juvenile defense lawyers today or use our 24/7 online chat service to schedule a free consultation.
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