In many instances—such as misdemeanors punishable by fine only committed prior to the age of 17, an offense committed by a minor under the Alcoholic Beverage Code, and a conviction for Failure to Attend School—any record of a conviction for an offense that a person committed as a juvenile or minor can be expunged. Even if convicted of a crime, a juvenile’s criminal record can be sealed as long as the juvenile (1) didn’t receive a determinate sentence, (2) isn’t currently registered as a sex offender, (3) wasn’t tried as an adult.
How to Expunge Juvenile Records
Just like when filing for expunctions to an adult, the individual must follow certain procedures and meet specific criteria before the court will expunge the person’s record. For example a person cannot apply for an expunction for a juvenile record until after that person has reached a certain age. Additionally, a person cannot have had multiple convictions.
Restricted Access of Certain Juvenile Offenses
A child’s records will be placed under “restricted access” if certain conditions are satisfied. If the juvenile records are placed under restricted access, then only criminal justice professionals will have access to the records. If anyone else attempts to access the records, they will be told the records do not exist. When a juvenile turns 21 years old, their records will automatically be placed under “restricted access.” This automatic placement occurs only if the child has not been convicted of, or placed on deferred adjudication for a class A or class B misdemeanor or a felony offense since their 17th birthday. However, if the child commits a crime after the records are placed under restricted access, the records will be removed from restricted access and made available to the general public.
Be Informed about Juvenile Expunctions
When a juvenile offender is convicted of an offense, the courts are sometimes required to give the child and the child’s parents information about the expunction process and how to apply for an expunction. Because different procedures can apply to expunctions for juvenile offenses, you may want to contact a Houston juvenile expunction lawyer.