Practically everyone does something they later regret in life when they are still a minor. That’s because kids, tweens and teens don’t have the necessary life experience to make the right choices when confronted with difficult decisions. This is why the juvenile court system is designed to reform more than it is to punish and this is also why records pertaining to crimes committed by juveniles can be sealed when the minor turns 18. If you or your child need help sealing a juvenile criminal record, a Vista criminal lawyer like Peter M. Liss can help.
If you or your child was convicted of a crime as a minor, that criminal record will be available publicly until you have your record sealed. Many people mistakenly believe that your record will automatically be sealed as soon as you turn 18, but you need to actually act to have the records expunged. A San Diego juvenile lawyer can help you file the proper paperwork to ensure your record is sealed.
Having your juvenile record expunged completely clears your record so when you apply for a job or housing and are asked if you have ever been convicted of a crime, you can truthfully answer “no.” The crime will not show up on background checks and will prevent your juvenile criminal history from being used against you. These sealed records can only be opened in rare specific situations and eventually, they will even be physically destroyed so there will be literally no record of your criminal background.
The sealing of records also includes arrest reports. Even if a child was not made a ward of the court or was diverted from prosecution, the records of those events may be sealed.
It is important to recognize that if there have been convictions of crimes involving moral turpitude after termination of juvenile probation, sealing is not allowed. Additionally, violent crimes and many sex offenses are not eligible for sealing. If a minor has been ordered to register as a sex offender, sealing will cause elimination of the registration requirement assuming the minor has a crime eligible to be sealed.
If you are interested in getting your or your child’s juvenile criminal record sealed, please call Vista criminal attorney Peter M. Liss at (760) 643-4050 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case and how expungement may help.
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