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What are the advantages of participating in Civil Citation?

    • Youth are held accountable for their actions and receive immediate intervention

    • No formal arrest record

    • Youth receive an evidence based risk assessment and are sanctioned to targeted and  
      appropriate interventions improving youth outcomes

    • Youth “pay back” the community

    • Lower referrals to Juvenile Justice System for minor crimes

    • Allows youth to get the services they need outside of the formal criminal justice system

Who is eligible for Civil Citation?

All youth ages 8-17 that have committed certain first time misdemeanor offenses or have violated a county or municipal ordinance are eligible for the Civil Citation Program without being arrested. Law enforcement agencies have changed their procedures in order to refer eligible youth to the Juvenile Diversion Program where the youth can receive an assessment and applicable intervention. Youth must accept responsibility for the offense and agree to participate in the program.  Law enforcement has the discretion to issue a civil citation or make an arrest. You will find the Civil Citations brochure in our JDP media section, Click here to visit. 

What offenses are included in Civil Citation?

All misdemeanor offenses are presumed to be eligible for civil citations.

What are the program requirements?

Law Enforcement will issue the Civil Citation and will send the citation paperwork to the Juvenile Diversion Programs (JDP) office.  Youth will be assigned a court counselor and issued a date for an interview.  A parent or legal guardian must accompany the youth. 

To promote accountability, the youth may be ordered to complete sanctions such as writing apology letters to victims, community work service, and/or the payment of restitution. The court counselor will conduct an evidence-based risk assessment to evaluate whether any additional services are needed and referrals will be made when appropriate.  The youth will be given a deadline date for the completion of assigned sanctions.

What will happen to my criminal record?

When a youth enters the civil citation program, his/her information is entered into prevention records with the Department of Juvenile Justice as required by Florida statute.  If the youth completes the program, the youth will not have an arrest record and the information will not be forwarded to the Clerk of the Court, Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement or the Office of the State Attorney.

What if the youth fails to complete the requirements of the program?

If the youth fails to successfully complete the required sanctions of the Civil Citation Program or the youth is charged with another crime while in the program, his/her case will be referred to the State Attorney’s Office for formal prosecution consideration.

What is the role of the parent?

Parental or guardian consent is required for a youth to enter the program.  Once enrolled in the program, the parent or guardian is expected to support the youth’s participation and it is important to the overall success of the youth.

What if I want additional information on my rights?

If you have been referred to the program and would like information on your legal rights, you may contact the Public Defender’s Office at (813) 277-1335 or 813-307-4000.