How Truancy is Regulated by Florida Law

The Florida statutes place the requirement for establishing and enforcing Florida truancy laws on the shoulders of the individual school districts. Therefore, it is important to have a South Florida criminal defense attorney when your child is facing truancy charges. Your attorney needs to be familiar with your specific school district’s Florida truancy laws. 

The Basics of Truancy Charges in Florida 

Truancy is commonly referred to as “skipping school” and occurs when a school-age child is found to be out of school without proper approval and reason during school hours. The Florida truancy laws provide guidelines for each school district to adhere to when forming their own individual truancy policies. 

Your child may be allowed 5 unexcused absences within a month or 10 within a 90-day period before the school may intervene. A team of school officials will investigate the reasons for the absences to determine if it is a pattern of truancy or if there are other circumstances. A meeting with the parents may be scheduled to determine the cause of nonattendance and potential remedies. 

Upon each instance of absence, the school should contact the parent and determine if the absence was for an excusable reason or not. Written notice is required from the school when a student is found to be violating truancy laws in Florida. The parent or guardian must comply with the written notice within 3 days of receipt or you can be held liable for truancy charges. These are criminal charges that should be handled by a South Florida criminal defense attorney. 

As a parent, you have a right to appeal any actions the school attempts to in order to correct your child’s truancy. However, if the review committee finds the school’s plan is appropriate and you fail to comply with Florida truancy laws, you may be held liable for the truancy charges. This is a delicate situation in criminal law and should be handled by an experienced South Florida criminal defense attorney. 

Your Child and Violations of Truancy Laws in Florida 

When children are facing truancy charges they may be transported to the custody of their parents, the principal or teacher in charge at their school, a private tutor, or a juvenile assessment center upon discovery of truancy. This may be done by a designated school representative or any police officer who is alerted to truant behavior, either by observation or request. 

Florida truancy laws also allow for designated school representatives to inspect homes and establishments that may be harboring truant students. Any establishment employing minors in violation of the Child Labor Law can be accused of criminal truancy charges for these violations. 

When your child is detained by a school representative or police officer for truancy charges, he or she may be transferred to a juvenile detention center. This action may be noted on a juvenile record, which can have future consequences for the ability to obtain further education, employment and residency. A South Florida criminal defense attorney can help you understand the impact truancy charges will have on your child’s record. 

Your Liability as a Parent for Truancy Charges in Florida 

When you have been notified by your child’s school that he or she has been absent without proper reason and approval, it is your duty as a parent to help resolve the problem. The school will provide a plan of action to resolve habitual truancy, but the resolution rests mainly in your hands. Therefore, if you do not comply with the school’s plan, or fail to resolve the truancy independently, you may be facing truancy charges of your own. 

By working with a South Florida criminal defense attorney, you can attempt to fight unfair truancy resolution plans or avoid truancy charges based on providing evidence of the reasons for your child’s absences. The penalties for violations of truancy laws in Florida vary between each Florida school district, so it’s important you seek a South Florida criminal defense attorney for cases of truancy charges in your local district. 

Contacting a South Florida Criminal Defense Attorney 

Florida truancy laws vary from school district to school district, so it’s important that you have an attorney who understands how to handle local truancy charges. You have the right to a Miami criminal defense attorney during the proceedings following truancy charges in Florida. If you or your child are facing truancy or criminal charges in South Florida, your legal team is your best defense. Contact the Miami criminal defense attorney team at Falk & Ross to discuss your case – 1-877-663-5110.