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Do Juvenile Records Disappear When You Turn 18?
Children make mistakes, but their mistakes don’t haunt them for life. The same principle does not apply when criminal arrests and convictions are found. Continue reading to learn more about juvenile criminal records, including how long they stay on a juvenile’s criminal history and what you can do to prevent them after your child turns 18.
Juvenile delinquency records remain in the court system permanently. Juveniles do not have a criminal history even after they turn eighteen. These records are available to the public including the military, employers, banks, schools, housing estates, landlords and regular people who want to know more about a person. This means that a criminal record can greatly affect a person in various aspects for the rest of their life, even if the crimes were committed before they became a legal adult.
In terms of employment, a person with a juvenile delinquent history may not be eligible for certain jobs, professional licenses (such as a foster parent or childcare license), and promotions. Employers only need to call the courts and request a copy of their criminal history to learn more about them. Then they can use whatever they can find to deny a person a job or promotion. Depending on the severity of the offense and the conviction, the government may refuse to issue certain occupational licenses even if a person completes college classes or vocational courses in the field.
Military and housing
In terms of the military, a recruiter can find a juvenile’s criminal record without any problem. Certain crimes may prompt a military recruiter to deny a person’s enlistment. Housing is another factor. Landlords or mortgage brokers can deny a person’s application if they have certain crimes on their public criminal record. Even if the arrests, charges, and convictions occurred before they became legal adults, the records can (and usually will) be used against them. Those with serious juvenile records cannot be approved for government assisted housing even if their parents apply.
Public Police Reports
When a person has a juvenile criminal history, their record is available to the public. Furthermore, their police reports are also made public and can be accessed and viewed by anyone with a computer and internet connection. The same reports and records can be used against a person as an adult if they are tried for another crime. Judges, prosecutors, and probation officers can use the juvenile record as a basis for defining their orders and requirements, including sentencing, release, bail bonds, and probation.
Expungement and Sealing
New laws on criminal record expungement have recently been passed in several states. This means that those who qualify can have their criminal records expunged from public access. One method is called expungement and the other is called record sealing. An expungement is the expungement or removal of a criminal conviction and/or arrest from one’s permanent record. Sealing criminal records means restricting them from certain access. The only authorities who can access sealed records are criminal justice agencies and sometimes child welfare agencies.
The process required for a petitioner to seal or expunge a record is extremely complicated and revolves around a strict schedule that is difficult to follow. One small filing mistake or missed deadline and a person loses the opportunity to seal their public criminal history forever. For these reasons, it is imperative to retain professional legal advice from a licensed attorney who is familiar with eviction laws and provides services for filing and pleading.
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