If you or your child have been charged in the Orlando area for violating Florida statute 984.151, the experienced attorneys of Finebloom & Haenel are available to assist you!
Under the statute, if the school determines that a child has had:
- at least five unexcused absences, or absences for which the reasons are unknown, within a calendar month; or
- 10 unexcused absences, or absences for which the reasons are unknown, within a 90-calendar-day period; or
- has had more than 15 unexcused absences in a 90-calendar-day period
then the superintendent of schools may file a truancy petition. The petition is filed in the circuit in which the student is enrolled in school and the circuit court holds jurisdiction.
After the petition is filed the clerk shall issue a summons to the parent, guardian, or legal custodian of the student, directing that person and the student to appear for a hearing at a time and place specified. The court shall hear the petition within 30 days and the student and the student’s parent or guardian shall attend the hearing.
If the court determines that the student did miss any of the alleged days, the court shall order the student to attend school and the parent to ensure that the student attends school, and may order any of the following:
- The Court can order the student to participate in alternative sanctions to include mandatory attendance at alternative classes to be followed by mandatory community services hours for a period up to 6 months;
- The Court can order the student and the student’s parent or guardian to participate in homemaker or parent aide services;
- The Court can order the student or the student’s parent or guardian to participate in intensive crisis counseling;
- The Court can order the student or the student’s parent or guardian to participate in community mental health services if available and applicable;
- The Court can order the student and the student’s parent or guardian to participate in service provided by voluntary or community agencies as available;
- And the Court can order the student or the student’s parent or guardian to participate in vocational, job training, or employment services.
If the student does not successfully complete the sanctions ordered, the case shall be referred to the case staffing committee with a recommendation to file a child-in-need-of-services petition.
the parent, guardian, or legal custodian and the student shall participate, as required by court order, in any sanctions or services required by the court under this section, and the court shall enforce such participation through its contempt power. This means if you are a parent and you do not comply, you can face up to six months in the county jail!!
Skipping school seems harmless enough, but if you miss enough days, your parents could face criminal charges and you could be placed in foster care! In addition you could face several other sanctions. Don’t assume this is no big deal!!
If you or your child have charges pending in the Orlando area related to truancy, call the attorneys of Finebloom & Haenel today! Our attorneys have the knowledge and skill necessary to protect you. We are available for a free consultation 24/7 by calling 407-218-6277.