Featured News 2013 Can Your Seal Juvenile Court Records?

Can Your Seal Juvenile Court Records?

Juveniles make mistakes, and sadly some of those mistakes have the potential to ruin the rest of their lives, by the mere fact that they are on their permanent record for anyone who looks to see. It is very likely that someone with a past, even that of a juvenile offense can lose the opportunity to receive a job position because of their history. Perhaps when they were in high school they spent a few months on probation because they stole merchandise from a clothing store, they may never be able to apply for a job that involves products or money because the employer may not trust them due to their past record.

Fortunately, the court has also established "expungement" which means that a person's criminal history may be sealed or hidden from the public view. While the government would still have access to these documents, potential employers, licensing agencies, landlords, among other places, will not have access to these files and can therefore not hold them against you. If your records are expunged by the court, you will then have the legal ability to say to those perspective employers, etc. to say that you have never been arrested or convicted.

It is important to realize though, that getting your juvenile record expunged does not mean that the consequence for those past actions no longer exists. As you can see, there are many positive reasons for wanting to expunge your juvenile record, though in order to do so you will want to find the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney in your area to help you with the process. Not everyone is eligible to have their records expunged, however. There are many factors that play a role in whether or not the court will grant you your wish.

First off, a person's age when they seek to conceal their record. In order to do this, you must be at least 18 years or older, you cannot still be underage and have your record sealed. Next, the court will take into consideration how long ago the offense was made. In most cases, for a juvenile criminal record, you must have had at least 5 years go by with it on your record before the court will allow it to be sealed from the public eye. The biggest concern the court will have is what sort of crime was committed at the time; there are certain offenses that after 5 years the judge will expunge and there are some that may not be. It depends what state you live in, and also it depends on the seriousness of the crime. For example, if your crimes as a juvenile were committed by an adult and they would be charged with a felony, the judge may be more likely to not approve the expungement.

Another aspect that the court will consider when determining your eligibility for the expungement is how many other arrests or convictions you have had following the crime you are seeking to have expunged from your record. How then would you go about this process, assuming you are eligible for it? Most importantly, you will want to hire a skilled criminal defense attorney who understands the process and how to help you. Next, you and your attorney will need to file a petition with the court in order to be considered. Generally, this petition is done so with a court fee as well.

If you are an adult, and it has been at least 5 years since our juvenile offense, consider contacting a criminal defense attorney near you to expunge your records and move forward with your life!

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