If you have a juvenile criminal record and are now an adult or almost an adult, you might be able to expunge your record. This means the crimes you were arrested or convicted for as a minor will be sealed to where someone running a background check would not be able to find them. When you do this, your juvenile and adult criminal records are separated. Nobody would be able to access the juvenile records after sealing is complete. Here are some things to know about clearing or expunging your juvenile record.
Know Your Local Eligibility Requirements
The first thing you need to know is whether or not you are eligible to clear your juvenile record. While there are some general eligibility requirements in most areas, your local town or state might have specific requirements. This might be based on the type of crime, how long ago the crime was committed, and some other factors with your behavior since then. In general, if you were much younger when you were convicted of the crime, it was a misdemeanor, and you have not gotten into more legal trouble, you will likely be able to expunge your record. A criminal attorney can give you some more insight.
Consider the Crime You Were Convicted Of
The type of crime you were convicted of makes a big difference in your eligibility as well. If you were just convicted of a minor crime, you are probably fine. However, if you were convicted of a felony, even as a minor, you might not be able to expunge that juvenile record. There are some exceptions, depending on where you live. If it was committed at a much younger age and you have gone above and beyond to show how much you have changed and learned from your mistakes, the judge might be willing to clear your record, so filling a petition is still a good idea.
File a Petition With the Local Court
When you are ready to request the sealing of your juvenile record, you will need to file a petition with the court. After you submit the petition, the court will then schedule a hearing. You must attend the hearing on time and on the date requested, otherwise your request might be denied and you may never get the chance again. During the hearing, the court clerk will call your name and you will discuss the matter with the judge.
It is highly recommended that you have a criminal attorney (such as one from Russo Lawyers) helping you with the petition and to go with you to the hearing. They can help you prepare your documentation to show how you have grown and matured following the conviction and that you are a good candidate to get rid of the juvenile record.Share