Sealing Juvenile Records

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Many individuals convicted of California criminal offenses want to clean up their criminal records and make a fresh start. This is particularly important when it comes to juvenile criminal records. There’s no reason why a mistake made before age 18 should haunt someone throughout their lives and hamper future opportunities for employment, education, military service or other options. The caring attorneys of The Kavinoky Law Firm are skilled in every aspect of sealing and destroying California juvenile criminal records.

Many people believe that juvenile criminal records are automatically sealed, but that’s not the case. Individuals must petition the court to seal the records once they have turned 18. The petition to seal California juvenile criminal records must be made in the county where the conviction occurred. If the court approves the request – which is often the case with juvenile records – the files will immediately be sealed, and the records will be completely destroyed in five years.

Individuals who graduated from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Juvenile Justice have their convictions dismissed after completing the program, but still must petition to have the records sealed. If not, they will remain visible until the individual’s 38th birthday.

Unfortunately, certain juvenile records cannot be sealed. Typically, only misdemeanor records can be sealed, not felonies. The types of crimes that cannot be removed from the record include sex, drug, and traffic offenses. However, other types of juvenile records can typically be sealed if the proper procedures are followed. While it’s rare for California minors to be convicted of misdemeanors in adult court, those records also can likely be sealed and destroyed.

Whenever possible, it’s essential to petition to have California juvenile records sealed and destroyed so that mistakes made as a minor don’t follow an individual into adult life. A criminal record can be a hurdle to employment, education, housing, and other opportunities, and in today’s information age, it’s easy for anyone to locate criminal records. The experienced lawyers of The Kavinoky Law Firm are skilled in every aspect of petitioning to have juvenile records sealed and destroyed. Contact them today for a free consultation.