Few adults can say that they have never done anything as teenagers that they regret. Some adolescent mistakes, however, are crimes that can come with serious consequences. Teens who get in trouble with the law are not immune to the long-term repercussions of their actions. If you or your child has a juvenile record in the state of California, there are steps you can take to seal the record and avoid facing discrimination in employment, educational or career endeavors.
What does sealing a juvenile record mean?
To have your juvenile record sealed means that the court documents are no longer public record, including arrest reports, court rulings and probation reports. There are many benefits to taking the steps toward having your record sealed, many of which will help as you enter the workforce.
You may think that a juvenile record automatically clears when you turn 18. In the state of California, there are some circumstances in which this is true. For other more serious offenses, you must apply to have your record sealed. It is in the best interest of you or your child that you consult with an experienced defense attorney who can guide you through the process.
In some cases, you may be eligible for an automatic sealing of your juvenile record. This occurs when certain criteria are met, including: the conviction took place before January 1, 2015; the juvenile was sentenced to probation; the juvenile completed their probation; and the conviction was not for a serious violent crime such as murder or attempted murder, kidnapping, rape, arson, carjacking, sex offenses, firearms offenses or torture.
Convictions for the serious offenses mentioned above that were perpetrated after your juvenile’s 14th birthday will not automatically be sealed. You must take action in order to start the expungement process. It is important to note that until the expungement has been processed, your juvenile records are still a matter of public record and can be viewed by employers, property managers and educational institutions.
Schedule your free consultation today. Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Joni Eisenstein.
What are the benefits of sealing a juvenile record?
It is in the best interest of you and your child to have the juvenile record sealed for a number of important reasons. A sealed juvenile record allows you to truthfully state that you have no criminal history when applying for a job or apartment, obtaining certain licenses or applying to an educational institution. The conviction will also fail to appear on any background checks. This will significantly impact the quality of life you can have as an adult, eliminating some of the stigma that comes with being a convicted criminal offender.
Another benefit of sealing your juvenile record is peace of mind. It can be liberating to know that you have obtained a clean slate in life and that you will no longer have to worry about your past mistakes. The emotional and psychological impact this can have is significant and can result in many positive outcomes for a young adult.
Who is eligible to have their juvenile record sealed?
Not every juvenile is eligible to have their record expunged in the state of California. Certain criteria must be met in order to apply to have your records sealed:
- You are over the age of 18
- You do not have any convictions as an adult for serious felonies or misdemeanors that involve moral turpitude such as murder, fraud, theft, sex offenses and drug offenses
- Your juvenile crimes are not under any pending litigation
Get Assistance with Your Juvenile Record Expungement
If you are not eligible for an automatic sealing of your juvenile record, you should contact a reputable attorney to guide you through the process and represent you in the courts. The process can take 8-10 months, so it benefits you to work with an attorney who has helped other clients navigate the expungement process. Joni Eisenstein is an experienced expungement and juvenile crime attorney in San Diego County. She can work with you and your child to get you the best chance to get the records sealed.
Call the Law Office of Joni Eisenstein today to schedule your free consultation. Our attorney will speak with you about your unique situation and provide you with expert legal advice to help you through the juvenile record sealing process in San Diego.
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