Sealing Your Juvenile Record – Update

Beginning in 2015 – New Law Authorizing Automatic Sealing of Juvenile Records

As discussed in our previous blog on Sealing Your Juvenile Records, existing law already allows for the sealing of non-violent juvenile records, but requires a petition to the court in order to initiate the process.  Beginning  on January 1, 2015, Senate Bill 1038 which is codified in Welfare & Institutions Code section 786 will provide automatic sealing of juvenile records in cases where the minor successfully completes all court-imposed sanctions.

Section 786 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

786.  If the minor satisfactorily completes (a) an informal program of supervision pursuant to Section 654.2, (b) probation under Section 725, or (c) a term of probation for any offense not listed in subdivision (b) of Section 707, the court shall order the petition dismissed, and the arrest upon which the judgment was deferred shall be deemed not to have occurred.  The court shall order all records pertaining to that dismissed petition in the custody of the juvenile court, except that the prosecuting attorney and the probation department of any county shall have access to these records after they are sealed for the limited purpose of determining whether the minor is eligible for deferred entry of judgment pursuant to Section 790.  The court may access a file that has been sealed pursuant to this section for the limited purpose of verifying the prior jurisdictional status of a ward who is petitioning the court to resume its jurisdiction pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 388.  This access shall not be deemed an unsealing of the record and shall not require notice to any other entity.