We get calls all the time with questions about juvenile law. Specifically our clients want to know about sealing their juvenile records now that they are off probation and have remained out of the criminal justice system. We believe that it is never too late to seal your juvenile record. Sealing your juvenile records can help you to leave the past behind and move on.
Contrary to popular belief, Juvenile records are not automatically sealed and you must file a petition with the court to request to have them sealed (unless you were granted and successfully completed deferred entry of judgment pursuant to pursuant to section 790 of the Welfare & Institutions Code).
Your juvenile records not only include all information (papers, orders, and reports) contained in your juvenile court file, but also all records relating to your case held by other agencies such as the District Attorney’s Office, Public Defender’s Office, the Department of Justice, the Probation Department, and other law enforcement agencies.
Sealing your records means that all records held by the court and various agencies will be closed up and sealed off. Sealed Court proceedings are treated as if they have never taken place. If an inquiry is made to any of these agencies or to the court about a sealed record, the law requires the agencies to answer, “we have no record of that matter.”
To be eligible to get your records sealed, your case must have started and ended in juvenile court and you must meet certain requirements.
- You are at least 18 years old and have completed probation; Or you are younger than 18 but at least 5 years have passed since your last arrest or discharge from probation.
- As an adult, you have not been convicted of a felony or of any misdemeanor involving a crime of “moral turpitude”. If you have been, you may not be able to seal your juvenile records.
- A showing to the court that you have been rehabilitated.
- In addition to the above eligibility requirements, you must not have an open civil suit regarding the actions that caused your juvenile record.
Even if you meet all the above, not all juvenile offenses qualify to be sealed. If you committed an offense that is listed in section 707(b) of the Welfare & Institutions Code when you were age 14 or older and/or if the juvenile offenses were traffic violations/offenses and parking violations then you may not qualify.
If you have any questions about whether or not you qualify to have your records sealed and the process to file a petition, please call us directly at (805) 330-1529.