Get Record Expunged – Start Adulthood on a Clean Slate

Your child, perhaps, painted graffiti on the walls of a school or shoplifted from a nearby local store as an 11 year-old. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision and he is very sorry for it. Your child was subsequently arrested and declared a juvenile delinquent. Now what do you do?

 

A juvenile delinquent is someone who, under the age of 18, commits an act that would be charged as a crime if he was otherwise an adult at the time of the offense. Your child’s one bad choice, that happened many years ago, follows him everywhere he goes. Now that your child is grown up, and graduating from high school, you wonder if the past mistake can make it difficult for your child to enter college. The answer is ‘Yes, it could’. However, there is hope; you should immediately petition to get records expunged from their criminal history.

How to get my record expunged

This might be a nagging doubt in your child’s mind, as a juvenile record can hamper the chances of your child getting into college, obtaining loans, college grants and other benefits. Although a juvenile record can seriously impede your child’s chances at a great future, there is relief in the form of expungement. Similar to getting a record expunged in the case of adults, juvenile records can also be expunged. Expungement means petitioning the courts to seal information about the arrests and charges and to make them inaccessible to public. Juvenile expungement gains more importance as it deals with a child’s future.

It is important to understand the fact that all the states in the nation have rules and regulations dealing with expungement. These rules, laws, and expungement processes vary from state to state. The process of getting a record expunged in California may differ from that of Texas. But there are certain basic rules behind juvenile record expungement.

These are some of the most important aspects of juvenile record expungement:

  • Your child’s juvenile record will not get automatically expunged when he turns 18. You should take steps to make sure that your child’s records are expunged.
  • Remember that although the age of the delinquent matters, the judge may send the child to adult criminal courts if the judge deems the offense as serious. It simply means you have to file for expungement in the adult court instead of juvenile courts.
  • When you get records expunged it means all information pertaining to the case will be sealed so that they are no longer available to the public. Sometimes, these documents can include fingerprints, photographs and court records depending on the state.
  • The eligibility laws of getting your record expunged or your child’s juvenile record expunged vary from state to state. You are eligible to get your child’s record expunged if:
    • Your child is at least 18 years of age
    • Your child doesn’t have any more cases pending against him.
    • There has been a minimum amount of time (as required by your state law) since involvement with the Juvenile Court System.
    • Restitution has been paid
    • Your child has been sufficiently rehabilitated.

Remember that your child against whose name the juvenile record exists can only petition the courts for expungement. Your child cannot petition the courts to get records expunged if he:

  • Is currently serving probation
  • Is involved in criminal activity or any other criminal proceedings
  • Is convicted by an adult court
  • Has committed a serious and violent offense

The procedure for juvenile record expungement is not different from normal expungement processes. Although the language varies, in essence it remains the same. Your child must file the petition in the same juvenile court that handled the original case. It is important to attach the original criminal history report along with all the other application forms. The filled application forms should be submitted to the court along with the fees and supporting documents. The court will schedule a hearing and notify the petitioner, after which the order of expungement may be granted. Once the expungement order has been successfully entered,  juvenile records are sealed and deemed never to have occurred.

Certain colleges, institutions, professional licensing agencies and others require specific information about your child’s criminal history. The only legal and honest manner in which your child can state that he was never convicted of a crime nor declared a juvenile delinquent is by seeking to get a record expunged as soon as possible.

The laws surrounding juvenile records expungement are complicated and vary from state to state. There are a number of forms that need to be filed. You should also provide many supporting documents to the courts. Moreover, each case is different. To expedite the process and make it easier, it is better to approach experts in the field of juvenile record expungement. Contact us today as we offer dedicated services, legal assistance and case-specific information to help your child enter adulthood with dignity and hope.

About Angela

Hello, Cyber world! I currently work as the Web Content Editor for the Expunge Center page and through my whole life writing and blogging has been in my Top priorities.

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