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What You Need to Know About Juvenile Records

Teenagers are in the habit of making mistakes and sometimes those mistakes involve a criminal act, such as vandalism, breaking and entering, shoplifting, assault, or drug possession. Even though youth can grow up and move on from their mistakes, sometimes their past can haunt them when they have a juvenile record.

While some juvenile records are automatically sealed, others cannot be sealed unless the offender asks the court to seal his or her records. A crime committed when you were under the age of 18 can affect you for years to come. It can bar you from renting an apartment, getting into a college, obtaining a driver license, finding a job, and getting a loan. In other words, an error in judgement in your youth can impact your future.

What Are the Effects of Sealing a Record?

Suppose you committed a crime as a teenager and it does not qualify to be automatically sealed; you have to petition the court to have your records sealed. If the court approves your request and your records are sealed, it will be as if the court case does not exist.

Once your records are sealed, you can legally say you do not have a criminal record and it would be the truth. However, if you want to join the military or get federal security clearance, this is not necessarily the case. You may qualify to seal your juvenile records for an offense not listed in the Welfare and Institutions Code Section 707(b) if:

  • You are 18 or older.
  • It’s been a minimum of five years since your probation ended, or since your case was closed, or since a judge decided you are rehabilitated.

Who is not eligible to seal their juvenile records?

  • Juveniles convicted of a serious sex offense when they were 14 or older for which they had to register as a sex offender.
  • Juveniles convicted as an adult (ask us about cleaning an adult record).
  • Juveniles convicted of a crime of “moral turpitude,” such as a violent crime, forgery, a sex crime, murder, or welfare fraud.

Related: Orange County’s Juvenile Work Program

To learn more about sealing juvenile records in Orange County, contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. for a free case evaluation.