Having your juvenile crimes record sealed
As a criminal defense lawyer, I am often asked questions about a person’s juvenile record. Generally, people want to know what is on their juvenile record and how they can get it sealed. Even after a person has completed their sentence and terms of probation, bad marks on a juvenile record can impact you later in life. For instance, certain employers and college admissions officers may not consider you if you have a juvenile record. If you have your juvenile record sealed, you will be able to essentially “start over” in spite of your past altercations with the law. When your juvenile record is sealed that means that any record that the Department of Probation, D.A., local, county, and state police have of you will be closed off and can (usually) not be held against you thereafter. Upon a juvenile record seal, any of these or other official agencies that are contacted about you must tell the inquisitor “We have no record of that matter.” In addition, you are also legally allowed to tell anyone who asks that you have never been arrested, charged, or convicted of a crime. What many don’t know, however, is that even if you have not had your juvenile record sealed, you can still legally tell whomever is asking that you have never been convicted of a crime because a juvenile conviction is not a criminal conviction. However, if you do not have your records sealed and they are therefore viewable by those who are looking to find this information, you may lose consideration for whatever it is you are applying–be it school, a job, etc.–and employers who do background investigations will likely be able to view your juvenile record. This will almost certainly have an impact on you if you were ever convicted of felony-like crimes as a juvenile. So, you’re probably asking yourself if you can have your juvenile records sealed. The answer “yes.” With a quality juvenile offenses attorney like Gary Gerson, you can have your records sealed and no longer worry about who can access the mistakes you made as a minor. To have your record sealed you must be at least 18-years-old and have completed probation. You may have your juvenile record sealed if you are under 18, but only if at least five years have passed since you were last arrested and/or released of probation upon completion of probation. In addition, you must not have been charged and convicted of a crime as an adult or a crime of “moral turpitude” since completion of your last probation. A crime of moral turpitude is a crime that shows fraudulence or considerable negligence against what the criminal justice system considers right and wrong. Crimes of moral turpitude can be drug-related, assault, thievery, fraud, or sex crimes. Remember, just because you have served your sentence and/or completed your probation, your record is not automatically sealed. A formal petition must be filed with the court. A successful juvenile crimes defense attorney like Gary E. Gerson can help you provide the proper petition, as well as represent you in front of a judge should your character come into question. He can help you show the judge that you have been rehabilitated. We’ve all made mistakes, especially as minors; don’t let those mistakes affect you for the rest of your life. Call The Law Offices of Gary E. Gerson today with more questions and a complete description of the prerequisites for having your juvenile record sealed at 412-219-6875.