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Florida Civil Citation


Overview

The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) civil citation initiative addresses a youth’s behavior at his or her first encounter with the juvenile justice system and provides an alternative to arrest for that child. 

Civil citation is vital to DJJ’s efforts to reform the juvenile justice system by giving first-time misdemeanor offenders the opportunity to participate in intervention services at the earliest stage of delinquency. Diverting first-time misdemeanants through civil citation will save millions of dollars that would otherwise be spent if youth were arrested and required to go through formal delinquency processing.

DJJ wants to work with you to make civil citation a success and looks forward to building partnerships with DJJ providers and other community stakeholders to enhance pre-existing civil citation programs and to promote and expand the civil citation process statewide.  By intervening at the early stages of delinquency, we can help shape the future of our youth! 

To find out how civil citation can make an impact in your community, contact: 


Theda M Roberts

Civil Citation Coordinator

Florida Department of Juvenile Justice
2737 Centerview Drive
Tallahassee, FL 32399

(850) 322-9564

Civil Citation FAQs - Revised October 2015


  • Q: Is a youth that successfully completes civil citation for a non-serious misdemeanor offense and is later arrested on a misdemeanor or felony charge eligible for a subsequent civil citation?
    A: No, civil citation will continue to be for non-serious misdemeanants with no history of arrest.
  • Q: Where can I find Chapter 2015-46, Laws of Florida (Senate Bill 378)?
    A: For Senate Bill 378, click here.  To see revised S. 985.12, click here.
  • Q: Where can I find information about Florida’s Civil Citation Initiative and outcome information?
    A: The Civil Citation Webpage is accessible here.  The Civil Citation Dashboard tracks utilization data and is available here.  The annual Comprehensive Accountability Report tracks recidivism data and is accessible here
  • Q: Is a youth with a prior misdemeanor or felony referral that was non-filed, or nol prossed, or diverted eligible for civil citation?
    A: Youth with a prior charge that was nol prossed or not filed are considered eligible for civil citation    providing there are no other priors in the youth’s history.  A post-arrest diversion youth is not eligible for civil citation.
  • Q: In extenuating circumstances, can a youth otherwise eligible for civil citation who has a prior record be served by civil citation?
    A: Yes, the state attorney’s office may direct the child be referred for civil citation services if it is in the best interest of the child and the public.
  • Q: Will an assessment be conducted on a youth for every civil citation issued up to the three opportunities?
    A: Yes.  Youth with subsequent civil citations will be assessed with the Prevention Assessment Tool (PAT) or the assessment tool(s) in place in each county.
  • Q: How long will an assessment be good for on a youth?
    A: The assessment is good for the time a youth is in civil citation, which is typically 90 days.
  • Q: Is there a follow-up assessment for youth to show if there have been substantial changes in the youth’s life or family since the previous assessment?
    A: An exit assessment is not required for civil citation youth.
  • Q: Section 985.12, F.S., requires the establishment of a civil citation or similar diversion program at the local level. How is a similar diversion program defined?
    A: A diversion program similar to civil citation is one that provides services to youth in lieu of arrest; operates under s. 985.12, F.S., to include an assessment and intervention services to meet identified needs; and provides civil citation data to the Department.
  • Q: How is a similar diversion program defined under Section 985.12, F.S.? Is this considered an alternative process that diverts youth away from the court system after arrest?
    A: A diversion program similar to civil citation is one that provides services to youth in lieu of arrest; operates under s. 985.12, F.S., to include an assessment and intervention services to meet identified needs; and provides civil citation data to the Department. 
  • Q: Is a youth whose record was expunged eligible for civil citation?
    A: Yes, if the youth has remained crime free.
  • Q: Can a youth receive a second or third citation while completing sanctions for a prior civil citation?
    A: No.  Per s. 985.12, F.S., when a youth commits a subsequent misdemeanor while complying with assigned services, the original delinquent act is processed and referred to the Department of Juvenile Justice and the state attorney.
  • Q: Can a youth in a post-arrest diversion program or on probation receive a civil citation?
    A: No, these youth have a prior arrest history and are not eligible for civil citation.
  • Q: Are sexting offenses eligible for civil citation?
    A: No, the 2015 Legislature revised s. 847.0141, F.S., related to sexting with defined sanctions that are not compatible with civil citation. 
  • Q: Are noncriminal traffic violations eligible for civil citation?
    A: No.  Civil citation is an option for youth who have committed a criminal offense.
  • Q: Is a youth with a prior referral that was non-filed or nol prossed required to disclose the prior referral or the civil citation?
    A: A youth who has successfully completed civil citation services has no criminal history record and is not required to disclose the civil citation.  A youth with a charge that was non-filed or nol prossed may need to disclose depending on the question.  The youth has a criminal history, unless the record has been expunged, but has not been adjudicated delinquent or convicted of a crime
  • Q: Is a local agency required to disclose to the military if a youth had a prior charge that was nol prossed or non-filed? And how should they respond to military requests?
    A: The Department discloses criminal history records related to a nol prossed or non-filed charge to the military; however, whether or not this is required of a local agency is a matter for the service branch to determine in their dealings with the local agency.
  • Q: Our county state attorney’s office has agreed to divert youth to civil citation who were arrested on a civil citation eligible offense. How can the initial arrest be cleared or purged from the criminal history databases?
    A: The youth can petition for the record to be expunged under s. 943.0582 or s. 943.0585, F.S., and FDLE Administrative Code 11C-7.006.