Unlike adult criminal records, juvenile arrest and conviction records can be sealed, or “hidden.” Expunged records are then treated like they never happened, making it easier to get a driver’s license, find a job, rent an apartment or house, get a loan and apply to a university. In certain cases, the courts may even seal juvenile records automatically. If not, they must petition to do so. Here’s what you need to know about sealing a juvenile record.
In California, if a juvenile’s case is dismissed by the juvenile court after January 1, 2015 and they were found not to have committed an offense listed in Welfare and Institutions Code section 707(b) (such as murder, rape, kidnapping and certain gun and drug charges) when they were 14 years old or older, they do not need to ask the court to seal their records. The juvenile court will do so automatically, as long as the juvenile completes their probation. If they do not satisfactorily complete probation, they will need to ask the court to seal their records.
If their records are not automatically sealed by the juvenile court, they will need to ask them to do so. If their case was dismissed before January 1, 2015, it is likely they will need to ask. In order to qualify, they must meet the following requirements:
- At least 18 years old;
- It has been 5 years since their case was closed, their last contact with probation, and a judge decided they have been rehabilitated.
Once their case is reviewed, their record may be sealed in 90 and 180 days. However, there are certain cases in which a juvenile cannot seal their records: 1) If the court finds that they committed a serious offense when they were 14 or older, 2) their records are for an adult conviction, or 3) they were convicted as an adult of an offense involving “moral turpitude” (sex crimes, murder, fraud, etc.).
If you or a loved one wants to seal or destroy a juvenile criminal record, it is important you reach out to our Pasadena criminal defense attorneys at Tedford & Associates today.
Call (626) 325-0142 or contact us online for a free consultation.