As a young adult or teenager, you may find yourself making mistakes. However, some mistakes may lead to being charged with a very serious crime that could stay on your record and keep you from having the life you wanted. This is why, if you are a juvenile who has been charged with a crime in California, you may have options. You may be able to ask the courts to seal your juvenile record depending on certain circumstances.

What is “Expungement”?

When a conviction is expunged, this means that it is sealed. This process involves the court, where the record of an arrest is erased in the eyes of the law. When these criminal convictions are set aside, most everyday people are unable to access that the crime ever took place. However, there are some “what if” questions relating to expungement, as not all arrests or convictions can actually be expunged. The procedures change according to the state or county in which the arrest or conviction occurred, generally.Diversion Programs - Avoid Trial and Conviction So what does this mean for the juvenile who has been charged? No record of this arrest, if expunged, will be available to an employer, educational institution, or other company who conducts a public record inspection or background search of an individual’s criminal record. However, certain government agencies such as law enforcement and criminal courts will be able to see this information.

Am I Eligible?

Here are some eligibility requirements that must be met for juveniles before they can find out if their record can be expunged:

  • Age: A juvenile must have hit adult age to get their record sealed. This means, in many states, the juvenile must be at least 18 years old.
  • Offense Committed: Some states will make you wait until 30 days after your 18th birthday, while others may require that you wait three years from the date your commitment or supervision ended.
  • Type of Offense: There is usually a limit on the types of offenses that can be expunged from a juvenile record. If the crime would have been a felony in adult court, it will probably be too serious and cannot be expunged.
  • Subsequent Arrests/Convictions: If many crimes took place after the juvenile asked for expungement, it will probably be denied.

How do I Seal My Juvenile Criminal Record in San Diego?

If you have met the requirements for the sealing process after your juvenile conviction, you can take the steps necessary to have your record sealed. In San Diego, you must obtain the forms necessary in person at the Juvenile Probation Center or request to have them sent to you by mail. After you have determined that you will be eligible, you can return the application to the Probation Department as well as proof of reform, proof of enrollment in school or work, a photo ID, and any other accomplishments you have made. If you are under the age of 26, this process will be free; however, if you are older, the fee is $150. The general process is this: After you turn in your application, it will be received by a Probation Officer and a background investigation will be conducted. Then a determination will be made on whether or not you are eligible to have your record sealed. The probation officer will then contact you and recommend that your record can be sealed or why it cannot. A court hearing will then take place in front of a judge and the judge will make the final decision. If the court agrees that your record should be sealed, they will send an order to all of the agencies involved in your case, such as police agencies, probation agencies, courts, and more.

Have you been convicted of a juvenile offense in the past? Do you think that your record should be sealed for your past crimes so that you can gain a fresh start in life? If so, then you should have legal representation on your side that can help you every step of the way. Call The Law Office of Peter Blair for more information.