Sealing Your Juvenile Records: The Process and Benefits
How to Seal Juvenile Records in California
If you have a criminal record from your juvenile years in California, it could be accessed by potential employers and financial institutions that require a background check. However, the good news is that juvenile records can be sealed in California. Unfortunately, the records won’t be sealed automatically when you become an adult. You’ll have to petition the juvenile court to seal the records. In this article, we’ll explore the process of sealing juvenile records in California.
Specific Court Documents
To seal juvenile records in California, you’ll need to fill out and file a petition form with the court where the conviction occurred. You’ll need to contact the specific court to know the form they use for record sealing. It is also important to find out if there are any special requirements for filing the petition.
Not everyone is eligible to have their juvenile records sealed. For instance, if you were formally judged for a 707 (b) offense at the age of 14 or older or the case against you was a traffic offense, you might not be eligible to seal your records. However, if you meet the following eligibility requirements, you can petition the juvenile court to seal your records:
- You are 18 years old.
- You’re not 18 years old, but 5 years have passed since the termination of probation.
- There has been no felony conviction since your last arrest.
- You have not been convicted of a “Crime of Moral Turpitude”.
- Your case was handled entirely by the juvenile court.
- Your case didn’t result in a civil litigation that’s ongoing.
Examples of 707 (b) Welfare and Institutions Code Offenses
Not all offenses are eligible for record sealing. Some examples of 707 (b) Welfare and Institutions Code Offenses that are not eligible include:
- Any felony offense where the minor used a weapon
- Discharge of a firearm at a motor vehicle that resulted in death or great bodily injury.
- Crimes against people over the age of 60 or those who are blind or disabled.
- Selling more than a half-ounce of a controlled substance.
- Crimes that involve murder, aggravated mayhem, torture, rape, or kidnapping.
Information Needed for the Petition
To fill out the petition form, you’ll need the case number, date of arrest, arresting agency, violation, and disposition of the case. If you don’t have access to this information or you can’t remember where you were arrested, our office can help you fill out the forms. We have highly-skilled and experienced lawyers who can provide the required assistance.
Benefits to Sealing
Sealing your juvenile records in California has many benefits. For instance, you can confidently state that you have no criminal history when you fill out job applications, loan paperwork, or licensing paperwork. Additionally, employers won’t judge you based on a previous indiscretion that occurred when you were a teenager. That way, you would have a level playing ground with other job applicants. Most importantly, sealing your juvenile records would provide you with a fresh start in life when you hit adulthood.
It’s important to note that without a petition to have records sealed and eventually destroyed, the conviction will stay until your 38th birthday when they will be destroyed. So, if you’re eligible to seal your juvenile records in California, take advantage of the opportunity and seal your records today.
CALIFORNIA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS