While juvenile court tends to focus on rehabilitation rather than punishment, it still doesn’t allow automatic expungements when a young offender turns 18. Unless you specifically ask for an expungement from the court, your record will remain confidential unless it’s requested by others, such as a potential employer or landlord. The offense can make your future life extremely difficult, but there are actions you can take to wipe your record from the public eye.
Expunging, or sealing, a juvenile record will depend on a number of factors. Not all crimes committed by juvenile offenders can be stricken from the record. You must be eligible for this type of action. Eligibility depends on one or more of the following factors:
- You were not found guilty at trial.
- If, after 1 year, you were issued a ticket or arrested, but no further action was taken against you.
- If, after 4 years, the court terminated jurisdiction or you were unconditionally released from commitment to the department of human services.
- You were unconditionally released from parole.
Conviction of many violent crimes can often prevent a record from being expunged or sealed. For example, sex crimes and aggravated juvenile behavior cannot be sealed or expunged. Likewise, if you were convicted of an offense that would’ve been a violent crime had it been committed by an adult, or if you received an adult sentence, your record must stay public.
Remember, if you are eligible for expungement and successfully ask the court to remove your record from public access, this means you still have a record available for viewing by a judge or probation department if you are sentenced later as an adult. Your file isn’t destroyed; it is only hidden from most U.S. citizens.
If you’re interested in seeing if you qualify for an expungement, let us help. Our skilled Denver criminal defense attorneys are dedicated to helping people defend their rights, freedom, and future. Let us see what we can do for you.
Contact us at (303) 732-5048 or fill out our online form to schedule your free case consultation today.