How Long Will a Juvenile Crime Stay on My Child’s Record?
The Juvenile Justice System Wants to Rehabilitate, Not Penalize
Teenagers, minors, and young adults often do not have full comprehension of the way the world works, especially when it comes to consequences for criminal wrongdoing. The criminal justice system that adults face when arrested, charged, or convicted of a crime is not the same system that juveniles will face. For a criminal case involving a minor defendant, the Juvenile Justice System (JJS) will be used instead.
The JJS wants to rehabilitate a juvenile offender far more than it wants to penalize them. In many regards, this provides an ample amount of leniency to minors who have committed a crime when compared to an adult who committed a similar or identical crime. However, just like with the criminal justice system for adults in Florida, the arrests and convictions placed on a juvenile’s criminal record in Florida do not automatically get removed. Many years can go by and the marks may still remain.
How to Clean a Juvenile Record
Since the Juvenile Justice System does not want to destroy a minor’s reputation, expungement can be used to remove marks, and record sealing can be used to hide the marks that cannot be erased. The expungement process for juvenile records is more lenient than the same process for adults as well. Each conviction or arrest is bound to a one-expungement attempt rule, though, meaning if the parent or guardian of a juvenile files for an expungement and it is denied, it cannot be expunged ever.
Most violent crimes and sex crimes committed by juveniles cannot be expunged, such as:
- Unlawful firearm use or possession
- Animal cruelty
- Sexual misconduct
- Any sex crime that required sexual offender registration
Additionally, a minor can be tried in an adult court and be moved through the adult criminal justice system if he or she is charged with severe crimes, such as grand theft, rape, or murder. Cases taken to adult court are unlikely to be eligible for expungement, even if the minor is not convicted.
How Private is Your Juvenile Record?
Certain employers, banks, landlords, and educational institutions do have the right to ask you if you have ever been convicted of a crime while reviewing your application or discussing opportunities at that organization. If you were convicted as a juvenile, then you will still need to tell them that you were convicted but be sure to mention that it was for a juvenile offense. You may not even need to divulge any of the information regarding that juvenile offense, but instead just say that you were convicted as a minor. To this extent, the JJS can once again feel more lenient than the usual criminal justice system.
Was Your Child Arrested? Contact a Juvenile Crime Lawyer.
After your child has been arrested or convicted as a juvenile, it is important to go over all the options of expungement, record sealing, and the like with a trusted criminal defense attorney. At Albaugh Law Firm, you can find a team of highly-experienced and highly-decorated St. Augustine juvenile defense attorneys dedicated to the future wellbeing of your child. We can help you understand your child’s rights and what to do next to protect them to the fullest.