• Can my juvenile record be destroyed?

    Date: 09.10.07 | by Judge Tom.

    Adults of all ages return to juvenile court and adult court asking for their juvenile records to be destroyed or expunged. The reasons vary: a new job, continuing education, a credit application, or military service.You don′t necessarily have to have a specific reason. You may just want to clear the record, since what you did as a youth shouldn′t adversely affect the rest of your life.

    Having a record means that your name, charge, and other vital statistics have been entered into a local and/or national computer system. Once you′re charged with a crime or delinquent act and found guilty, you have a record. In some jurisdictions,the fact that you were arrested, whether convicted of a charge or not, may result in a record. So it′s worth knowing in advance what the law is in your state.

    Photo by Publik 15 (Flickr)

    Most states have a procedure whereby juvenile records may be destroyed. The decision is usually discretionary—destruction isn′t automatic upon request.You may be required to appear in court to discuss your request with the judge. In most situations, it′s not necessary to have a lawyer.

    The court will want to know why you want your record destroyed. They′ll ask what you′re doing now (school, job, family, etc.), and whether you′ve had any problems with the law since becoming an adult. If you can show the court that you′ve been rehabilitated, your request will be granted.

    On the other hand, if you continue to have brushes with the law, are on probation as an adult, or have outstanding traffic tickets, your request may be denied. You can always renew your request at a later date, when a period of time has passed without incident.

    The court also takes into consideration what your juvenile offenses were, your age at the time of the offenses, and whether you′ve successfully completed your consequences. If you still owe work hours or restitution, for example, it′s unlikely that your juvenile record will be destroyed. Make sure you come to court in the best possible position.

    A twenty-two-year-old once asked a court to destroy his juvenile record, including a number of burglaries and shoplifting charges. When asked why, he stated that he was scheduled to be sentenced the following week in adult court for armed robbery. He didn′t want the judge to know about his juvenile history, which would justify a harsher penalty. Do you think the judge had to think long and hard about this request?

    Remember, once you turn 18 and become a legal adult, the rules change. Your arrest record and/or mug shots enter the public domain. The Supreme Court has ruled that there is no constitutional right to privacy for a criminal suspect regarding his or her record and mug shot. So the photo and information in the police report becomes public information.*

    *Paul v. Davis, 424 U.S. 693 (1976)., followed in a 2007 case: Bailey v. City of Port Huron (Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals).

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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    583 Comments subscribe to these comments.

    • tim turner
      Wed, 19 Dec 2007 at 10:56

      Can colleges ask or see your juvenile record as part of thier application process?

      Judge Tom’s response:
      Generally, Tim, a juvenile record is confidential and may be released with the juvenile’s and/or parent’s permission or by court order. Each state has its own laws about disclosure of these records. It also depends on the exact language on the college application – read the question carefully and check with a local attorney or an education counselor before acting.

    • tim turner
      Wed, 19 Dec 2007 at 10:58

      I have been told that juvenile records are ‘sealed’ – what does that mean? Can potential employers still look at it? If not why should I have it destroyed?

      Judge Tom’s response:
      Good question, Tim. This is a state-by-state issue. Generally, juvenile records are confidential but not necessarily off-limits to everyone. They may be used, for example, in criminal investigations relating to future involvement with law enforcement. Usually employers do not have access to these records. Under most state’s laws, once you turn a certain age [18, 19 or 21] you can ask the court to destroy the records and the court decides whether to or not. Even if the court destroys its records, you should check with the law enforcement agency involved to see if they destroyed their records. Again, asking a local lawyer or police officer should provide you with current, accurate answers in your jurisdiction.

    • john
      Fri, 26 Jun 2009 at 01:51

      hi, when i was 17 i was charged with embezzlement ($600) in California. i was put on a program called the Deferred Entry of Judgment (DEJ) program. which means that if i complete my probation period, community service hours and pay restitution, my case will dismissed and the record would be seal and destroyed five years after the incident.

      my question is: does the record really get destroyed and no one will have access to my record or court documents including law enforcement?

      the reason i ask is because i am about to graduate with a bachelor degree in justice studies, and i am looking forward to working in law enforcement. but my goal was to join the army first and put in 4 years.

      my situation: i disclosed the situation to my recruiter. i was told by my recruiter to go get my juvenile record, so i don’t misstate anything on my application. i was charged with a felony(s) but dont know how many (more than 1) and i believe the charges were dropped to misdemeanors, but im not 100% sure (no supporting documents). i have had no luck finding out my record, the police dept., probation dept and the courts tell me i have no record.

      where and what do i do from here on out?
      i hear read about records NEVER being destroyed, so how do i get my hands on them?

      p.s it’s been about 8 years since the incident occurred.

      Judge Tom’s response:
      Dear John:
      Your question is asked by many young adults with a juvenile record. The laws differ from state-to-state when it comes to the destruction of records. It is possible that “some” record of your arrest exists, even after a court expunges your record and orders its destruction. Check the exact language of the court’s order, and then check with the police department you were involved with to see what they have done. Good luck.

      thanks for your responses in advance.

    • john
      Sun, 19 Jul 2009 at 11:53

      thanks for the response. i did a lot of research and found that a juvenile record never gets destroyed, unless it was a violation of welfare code 601 (curfew). any other crime would be listed as code 602 and the juvenile record would be destroyed when the individual turns 38.

      i also found out that for me to get a copy of my arrest and juvenile record, i would need a court order to give to the agency i am attempting to retrieve my record from and have them unseal the record for review.

      Judge Tom’s response:
      Glad you were able to find the answers in your area – as I mentioned every state and sometimes county has its own rules about juvenile records.

    • Jade
      Wed, 22 Jul 2009 at 01:24

      I just started school online at the University of Phoenix for criminal justice 3 weeks ago. I want to become a DEA Agent or on a SWAT Team. I live in Tennessee and when I was 14 I got in trouble with the law for stealing and it got expunged. I was very young and dumb and around people a lot people older than me at the time. I got 1 year probation and 40 hours community service for all of that. I am 19 years old now in college going to church and doing good for myself and was wondering do you think this will hold me back in any way shape or form?

      Judge Tom’s response:
      Based on what you’ve stated, and assuming you were successfully released from probation, with no further incidents with the law, you should be able to continue with your plans. When filling out applications or during interviews, be straightforward with this information. You don’t want to conceal or deny it, then it turns up on a records check. All the best.

    • julie
      Wed, 29 Jul 2009 at 12:44

      hi there-a youth is wondering if his juvenile record in arizona will follow him to california after the age of 18?

      Judge Tom’s response:
      The answer depends on a number of factors: his or her age, type of offenses in Arizona [misdemeanor or felony], successful probation, etc. In addition, it’s up to the court to destroy a juvenile record – in Arizona felonies stay on the record until age 25 or later.

    • Amanda
      Wed, 05 Aug 2009 at 01:28

      hi, im 16 years old about to be 17 in September. Earlier this year on January I did a very horrible act with my sister whom was 19 at the time, I commited a felony but they dropped it down to a misdemeanor. Since then i havent committed any kind of criminal act what so ever. I currently landed an interview at a department store and as I was filling out the application a question came up that almost put me to tears, “Have you ever been convicted of, found guilty of, plead guilty to, or admitted guilt of a crime?” and then it also states, Answer No for anulled, expunged or sealed records, and any youth offender and minor traffic offenses. Im not so sure what i should check, im not very aware of the law here in Nevada, but due to what i have done. I was ordered by the probation officer that I take a petty larceny class and my charges will be dropped. What happens now? Do I avoid that question and answer no to the conviction?
      Please Help!!!

      Judge Tom’s response:
      First, as you know, it’s always best to tell the truth – if not, it will eventually come out and your chances of further employment may be harmed. Ask your probation officer about how best to answer this question – he or she should know. Generally speaking, if you went to juvenile court and admitted the misdemeanor, you haven’t been convicted of a crime – you were ‘adjudicated’ as a minor. This means you may honestly answer ‘no’ to the question. Minors that go through the juvenile system aren’t labeled criminals – they’re delinquents. Language makes a big difference when asked these employment questions. Get some advice from an adult you trust before you complete the application. Good luck job hunting.

    • kelly
      Tue, 11 Aug 2009 at 02:02

      My daughter was charged with possession of alcohol 2 weeks before she turned 18. She completed the juvenile program and they are telling us to get it expunged? Do you think this is a good idea? I am seeing that once you turn 18 your juvenile file is sealed. Is this true? Can she go to the court and ask for it to be destroyed instead of expunction?

      Judge Tom’s response:
      Whether your daughter’s file is sealed depends on your state’s laws and the court’s rules. The court may not clear her record since the offense relates to alcohol which she cannot legally possess or consume until she’s 21. Check with a lawyer or call the court for exact information in this matter. Good luck.

    • juan
      Wed, 02 Sep 2009 at 10:18

      i just got off of juvinile probation. well now i am 18 i was just recently charged with petty larceny and have to appear in court. do you think that judge will look into my juvinile record and see if i have a history with sealing and base his or her sentence off that?

      Judge Tom’s response:
      The judge may discover your juvenile history before sentencing on the larceny charge. He or she may check your records or your assigned probation officer who writes a presentence report for the court may mention your history so the judge can take it into consideration. Good luck.

    • Tiffany
      Thu, 03 Sep 2009 at 09:25

      I was caught shoplifting when I was 15. Now I am 17 and applying for colleges. At the time, I was told that this was a misdemeanor, it was my first and last time. We paid a fine, and met with a probation officer, and we had a discussion about how I should never do something like this again. She said that the case would remain on my juvienile record until I was 18, unless I committ the crime again, which I haven’t. So the record will be cleared when I am 18, when I apply for colleges, do I still need to check the yes for the question: Have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor, felony, or other crime?

      Judge Tom’s response:
      In most states the language in juvenile court differs from adult crimes. You are not ‘convicted’ – you are ‘adjudicated.’ You are not ‘sentenced’ – you go to ‘disposition.’ You are not a ‘criminal’ – you are a ‘delinquent’ once you are adjudicated responsible for a crime. So, read all questions on applications very carefully. Answer truthfully. Check with the court you were in to see if what’s explained here applies in your state.

    • Tiffany
      Thu, 03 Sep 2009 at 09:26

      I mean, can colleges request my juvienile record? Will they? Because if they request now it’s still on my record because I’m not 18, but if they request it after I’m 18 my record would have been cleared.

      Judge Tom’s response:
      They can request them but most don’t. Check your state law regarding the destruction of juvenile records. In some states you must apply, in others it may be automatic once you reach a certain age.

    • john
      Tue, 15 Sep 2009 at 04:42

      Tiffany

      i live in california and go to a state university, so i’ve been in the same boat. the answer to your question is no, college’s do not request juvenile records.

    • adrian
      Mon, 05 Oct 2009 at 05:39

      ok i was 13 when i was chought shoplifting i dident go to jail my parents came to pick me up so do i have to check yes on my collage applacation?
      Judge Tom’s response:
      You need to read the language of the questions on the application very carefully. If it asks whether you’ve been to jail, you can answer no. If it asks if you’ve ever been in trouble with the law and have any “convictions” on your record, you need to truthfully answer depending on the outcome of your case. If you are unsure whether you were convicted or “adjudicated” which is the term used for juveniles or whether the charges were ultimately dismissed, either call your old probation officer or the court to find out the final outcome of your case. If charges were never filed against you and you never had to go to court, then most likely there is no criminal record of this incident. Call the juvenile court in your area to find out how you can access your juvenile record.

    • Mike
      Wed, 07 Oct 2009 at 06:11

      Hi. I am 34 years old and I do have a juvenile record(sealed). I was arrested back in 1991 for burglary(felony) and served community service and probation. I never had problems with background check in applying for a job, college, or license and all the background check came out clear. But, I will be applying for an EMT certification for state of California and it states that I should admit any sealed or expunged convictions. Can a sealed juvenile record (after 18 years) come up on records and deny my request to get an EMT certification?
      Judge Tom’s response:
      A record that is supposedly “sealed” or “expunged” may still be available through a law enforcement check. Glitches in computer databases occur. Bottom line, read the question carefully and answer truthfully. A decades old juvenile offense shouldn’t have negative consequences today, depending of course on the nature of the offense. Good luck.

    • TRE
      Wed, 07 Oct 2009 at 06:41

      I AM 31 YEARS OLD, I HAVE A JUVENILE FELONY CONVICTION WHEN I WAS 15YRS OLD, CAN THIS BE USED AGAINST ME IN MY CHILD CUSTODY CASE BY THE OTHER PARENT
      Judge Tom’s response:
      It all depends on the nature and seriousness of the offense. If it was property damage or shoplifting, it’s not likely to affect your case. However, if it was a sexual assault or child-related offense, it could impact the court’s ruling but could also be minimized by your rehabilitation since then. There are many factors the court considers when determining custody and visitation. Good luck.

    • Eric
      Sat, 17 Oct 2009 at 06:54

      Hey I’m about to be 21 years old. I’ve been in trouble as a juvnile kind of alot. I have 8 arrest with 16 chargers from the time I was 13-17. I have. Not been wrested since I was 17 I’ve been working at a nursing home for about 4 years. I love helping people and wanted to serve my country but the army won’t except me due to juvinle record I live in ct is there anything I can do
      Judge Tom’s response:
      Check the laws in your state about expunging your juvenile record. You may have to wait until your 21 or older to apply. Call the court you were before and ask what the procedure is to get your record cleared, if that’s allowed in your state. Some charges [felonies, for example] may stay on your record longer than misdemeanors. Good luck.

    • Emigh
      Sat, 17 Oct 2009 at 06:33

      Hello. I have a juvenile record in California- at least 2 separate counties. I am now in my late 20′s and trying to write a memoir of sorts. Is there a way for me to get a copy of my juvenile record?
      Judge Tom’s response:
      We suggest that you write the courts you were involved with and ask for copies of your record. You’ll have to provide identification and probably pay for the copies. That’s if they still exist – they could have been destroyed depending on the laws/rules of that jurisdiction. Good luck.

    • Don
      Fri, 23 Oct 2009 at 01:57

      Hello, I just turned 18 on the 2nd of this month, and I was fired from my job on 09/11/2009. The reason why I was fired was because I made a stupid mistake of stealing a money bag out of a teller room. the amount was 802 dollars in cash and about 632 dollars in checks, I was just 17 when I had done this. Now I can’t say I’ve learned my lession but I’m trying to correct my wrong. I gave back all that I stole, and have not been charged or convicted yet. My old job hasn’t sent a prosecutor yet. I was tooken in and finger printed the whole 10 yards. The important question I wanna ask, and I hope it dosent disgust you, but I’ve always wanted to become a State Trooper for my state. Washington State, and i wanted to know if I can still become a State Trooper with what recently took place.

      Thank you for your time.

      P.S. Still in high school and on track to graduate, on the right road to getting my life back on track. Thank you for your time Judge Tom
      Judge Tom’s response:
      Dear Don:
      Whether you can still become a State Trooper depends on their rules of acceptance, your history, etc. If you’re charged with the theft, it may result in a felony on your record. You’re no longer a minor, so you’ll be in adult court. You may be eligible for a diversion program if your local prosecutor has one. Keep doing what’s right and this may work out for you. Good luck.

    • Andy
      Fri, 23 Oct 2009 at 11:26

      I would like to know if I have unpaid juvenile tckets, would they be cleared when I turned 21 because I have a friend who was with me during the times I received tickets as a juvenile but he was able to receive his license but I wasen’t. So basically my question is do juvenile tickets clear after turning 21 if not cleared at 18.
      Judge Tom’s response:
      Every state has its own laws regarding the expungement/destruction of juvenile records. They may not clear automatically at 18, 21 or any age. You may have to apply for it and show the court that you’ve been referral free since the incident, and completed any probation terms, etc. before a juvenile record is cleared. Check with your local juvenile court, police department, or district attorney’s office for the details. Good luck.

    • andrew
      Fri, 23 Oct 2009 at 07:31

      Hi i was wondering if a 2nd degree robbery charge can be cleared of my juvenile record. Ive been told it is a strike in california and falls under secion 707B welfare institutions code and can not be cleared. Ive been in the Army now for about 2 and a half years i was 17 at the time of the offense i am now 21 could my military background help at all or is the offense there for good>
      Judge Tom’s response:
      Since every state has its own laws about destruction of juvenile records and the circumstances vary in each case, you need to check with either your probation/parole officer or the attorney who represented you in the case. Anyone of these people should be able to answer your questions, based on the facts of your case. Good luck.

    • amy
      Sun, 25 Oct 2009 at 12:44

      hi, i live in california and i was caught for shoplifting. i am 16 and am applying to college next year, but i will not be 18 until a few months after college admissions and everything are over. when i apply for colleges, will i have to check the “have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor, felony, or other crime” button? and if i do, will the colleges request and be able to see my juvenile record?
      Judge Tom’s response:
      Read the questions on the college applications closely. If you remain in juvenile court for this shoplifting offense, you most likely will be “adjudicated” not “convicted” and you may be categorized as a “delinquent” not a “criminal.” Most colleges and universities do not ask for juvenile records. Check with the probation officer assigned to your case about these questions. He or she should know the anwers as they apply to you in your state. Remember, shoplifting may be a felony depending on the value of the item taken, and as you get closer to 18, the prosecutor may wait until you’re an adult and file any new charge against you as an adult. Good luck.

    • Kyle
      Mon, 26 Oct 2009 at 03:50

      I was arrested in April of 2004 on Paraphernalia charges and charged with a misdemeanor. My 2nd amendment right was subsequently taken away from me. I am now trying to apply for an officer commisioning program in the Marine Corps and was wondering if I were to get my juvenile records destroyed, would I then get my 2nd amendment right back as well? Thanks.
      Judge Tom’s response:
      You need to look to the state that you were convicted [adjudicated] in to see the laws that apply to your situation. Or you could call your probation officer and ask. Each state has its own laws governing the destruction of juvenile records, age limits and whether the offense is a misdemeanor or felony and whether you have any criminal history. The laws also speak to your right to own, possess and use firearms and the restoration of civil rights. Good luck.

    • Daniel
      Fri, 30 Oct 2009 at 11:50

      I have a pretty bad juvenile record of about 8 felonies. I was convicted of all of them at the same time when I was 13 years old. I live in Virginia and I was told that when I turned 18 my records would be sealed. When I was 20 I applied to be a police officer. I was most of the way through the process when I was denied due to my background investigation. I was specifically told that my records would be sealed so that I could start over on a “clean-slate”. Now I am working on my criminal justice degree but hesitant because im not sure how “sealed” my records are and if it will cost me another job. Any advice or info? thanks
      Dear Daniel:
      It would be best to talk with a local attorney and get current, concise answers to your questions. “Sealed” doesn’t necessarily mean sealed to everyone or every agency. Particularly law enforcement or any sensitive position where public safety is concerned, your juvenile records may be accessed, but not by the general public. Contact a criminal lawyer – see if he or she offers a free consult or minimum fee to discuss this with you. Good luck.

    • Courty
      Sat, 31 Oct 2009 at 01:48

      Hi I like to know say if your Juvenile record was unsealed for review like on an important job,does it go back automatically to being sealed again to its normal foundation of where it was
      Judge Tom’s response:
      Usually, under most states’ laws, if a record is sealed by law or court order, it stays that way until a new court order changes it, or the provisions of the law allow otherwise. You need to check your state’s law regarding juvenile records. Good luck.

    • Jim
      Wed, 04 Nov 2009 at 02:37

      Hi. I got in trouble in New Mexico when I was 15. I have my name on a police report for Larceny as a “suspect”. I was never arrested or finger printed but I had to see a probation officer and he told me to take a “first offenders class” and as long as I didn’t get in trouble again it would be sealed and destroyed when I turned 18. I’m joining the Air Force and they did a FBI Check on me and my record is clean. I just want want to know what I was charged with so I can disclose it to them. I called the courts and they have nothing on me. I called the probation office and they told me the records are sealed and they don’t have access to them. my airforce Job requires a Secret Clearance. Is there anyway I can find out what I was charged with?
      Judge Tom’s response:
      Dear Jim: It sounds like your case was diverted. If you completed the class and no one has any record of this incident, it’s safe to say you don’t have a record. We suggest you write the court [presiding judge] a letter explaining your need to know what, if any, charge was filed. Good luck.

    • eric
      Wed, 04 Nov 2009 at 05:14

      If a crime is committed before your 18 does it get taken off your record when you do turn 18 in NY? i haven’t been to court or convicted or anything as of now and im praying i don’t, but when speaking to the agent after a meeting we had i asked when will i heard from him again he replied “it could be never” im not sure what to make of this or anything. basically i was working at a department store and a group of guys would come in and buy excessive amounts of items and their credit cards would be in their names but they would somehow use other peoples account number. the agents called it larceny and im guessing its a felony i was 17 at the time and am now in college but i dont know if once i turn 18 it will be time for me to be convicted and they would do it as an adult even though it happened when i was a minor. can you clear any of this up for me?
      Judge Tom’s response:
      First, you may be charged after you’re 18 under the laws of your state for a crime committed while a minor. If that happens, you’ll have to appear in court where your legal rights will be explained to you. You may also be appointed a lawyer [public defender] or you can hire private counsel. As far as your record, either a misdemeanor or felony can stay on your adult record for whatever term your laws mandate. It may be years before you can apply to clear your record. Good luck.

    • Jon
      Thu, 05 Nov 2009 at 10:45

      Hey judge when I was 16 was charge with felony burglary,did all my time and have been clean for 3 years.I live in Georgia will this still show up on my record or FBI record I was never fingerprinted?
      Judge Tom’s response:
      Although juvenile records are usually “sealed”, it does not mean that they are erased or cannot be seen when a records check is conducted. You can call the clerk of the court where your charges were pending and ask for a copy of your record. Depending on what your record shows, you may want to go back to the court and ask for your record to be expunged. Best of luck.

    • ashley
      Mon, 09 Nov 2009 at 10:48

      When I was 17, i was charged with shoplifting and now im 18 but i want to know when i apply for a job, will my juvenile record show up but i think they charged me as a adult. my question is if i was charged as an adult but was still a juvenile, will that show up on my adult record?? i stay in michigan.
      Judge Tom’s response:
      If, as you said, you were treated as an adult, you likely have an adult record. Check your local laws regarding shoplifting and see if there is a time period after which you can apply for a clean record. Good luck.

    • stephen r kuryla
      Wed, 11 Nov 2009 at 08:57

      juvenille record dui, on probation….now im 18, ready to ge of probation and received a citiation for poss of alcohol. i never told my probation officer. will she find out. i have court next month. will the judge know im on juvenille probation?
      Judge Tom’s response:
      There’s a chance your probation officer and the judge will become aware of your juvenile record. If entries are made into a computer system, the probation officer may run across it. Good luck.

    • sam
      Sat, 14 Nov 2009 at 01:34

      my sister who is 14 was caught shoplifting ($179) and was charged with a class b misdemeanor. she was arrested and taken to the police station where she got finger printed, and a photo taken. will she ever be able to get this off her record for jobs, colleges? this was a first offence and shes a straight A student and very respectful, which the police said. she was never mandated when arrested..can that be used in any help?
      Judge Tom’s response:
      If your sister admits the shoplifting or is found guilty in court, she’ll be given certain things to do such as taking a class, counseling, community service hours, restitution to the store, etc. and possibly a probation period. Once she completes all of her terms, she may apply for destruction or expungement of her record. Every state has it’s own laws and juvenile rules about this. She must follow the requirements spelled out in the law – she can ask a court officer [probation officer] about this for the details. The court decides whether to grant her request for a clean record. Good luck.

    • chris
      Sun, 15 Nov 2009 at 01:27

      when i was 15 i got involved with drugs and was charged with felony sales of a controlled substance. i did my time and got my record sealed when i turned 18. i am gonna try and join the air force reserve, would they still be able to see that since its been sealed ?
      Judge Tom’s response:
      A ‘sealed’ record isn’t the same as a ‘clean’ record or one that’s been expunged. Under the laws of your state, you might be eligible to apply to the court for a destruction of your juvenile record. The felony may keep you from applying, however, until you’re 21 or older. Every state differs in this regard. Ask your recruiter what their restrictions are for acceptance. You might also contact the court you were in about the process for clearing your record. Good luck.

    • ashley
      Sun, 15 Nov 2009 at 03:27

      okay so i’m 17 living in illinois. i got pulled over and got a ticket for driving without a drivers license. ive never gotten in any trouble before. can you give me a heads up for what to expect? i have court in two days!
      Judge Tom’s response:
      You may be facing a fine, community service hours, and/or a traffic class. Depending on the traffic laws in your state, you may also be restricted from getting a license for a period of time. Good luck.

    • jeffrey
      Wed, 18 Nov 2009 at 03:12

      i live in california.
      i have a curfew ticket and i did not go to court for it and not paid the fines,

      when i turn 18 does your record seal?

      i know lots of people who say they had several unpaid tickets and when they turned 18 there record sealed…
      Judge Tom’s response:
      We suggest you call your local juvenile court and ask what their rules are regarding the sealing of records. Every state and jurisdiction varies about what’s public, destroyed at 18 or older, and the process to apply for an expunged record. Generally, if court orders or penalties, including court hearing dates, are ignored, they don’t just go away by themselves, regardless of your age. Good luck.

    • John
      Wed, 18 Nov 2009 at 03:58

      Hello, I am here to ask a question. I was a “adjudicated” for a class C felony as a juvenile..conspiracy to commit a felony when i was 16,and had a dwai when i was 19. I dont drink and it was a matter of bad decision on my part but my quesiton is, i am trying to join the Army, which i have always wanted to my whole life. but even though they can only find my dwai on my record they say they can’t find my conspiracy to commit a felony record. even though i am disclosing this the recruiter he says he cant find it but he also cant send me down to MEPS for processing becuase of my juvenile crime. Does this mean that my juvinle record was destroyed? if so why wont they send me down if its gone? anything can help me, thank you. I am also 21 now..and im sorry if my post seems all garbled…ive never been that great at writing.
      Judge Tom’s response:
      Dear John: You should contact the juvenile court that you appeared in years ago and ask them to verify whether your record still exists or was it destroyed. Call or write the court – there may be a form you’ll need to file to start the process. Your file could be electronically saved but still be accessible. If you don’t have a record anymore, ask your recruiter for an explanation regarding your acceptance/denial in the Army. Good luck.

    • Scott johnson
      Wed, 18 Nov 2009 at 06:32

      Hi my name is scott johnson when I was 16-17 I committed two felony’s I was entered on a deffered sentence I completed it then had my record sealed at age 20 I was told by the lady that handled the paper work I did not have to say yes to my Marines recruiter that I had ever been convicted of a felony and it did not show up on my FBI background check and I was sworn in and took my oath for the United States Marine Corps it has now come to my attention that in order to get top secret clearance I give them permission supposedly giving them access to see my sealed record so now I have half the world telling me to keep my mouth shut they won’t find it and the other half telling me to tell them the only thing is I think it’s fraudulent enlistment because I didn’t tell them before I had gotten sworn in I NEED SOME
      GOOD ADVICE Please and thank you
      Dear Scott: There’s a big distinction between being “convicted” as an adult and being “adjudicated” delinquent as a juvenile, even if the offense was a felony. Language is the determining factor here. If the application for enlistment stated “found guilty” or “convicted” and you went through juvenile court, then it doesn’t necessarily apply to you. You must look to the specific words in the questions asked. If your juvenile records are sealed, it would take an order from the court to unseal them. Check with the court to see if you’re eligible to apply for an expungement or destruction of your juvenile records. Good luck.

    • Scott johnson
      Wed, 18 Nov 2009 at 10:18

      Hello this is scott johnson agian thank you for your speedy response I plan on talking to the court system to see exactly where I stand what im really concerned about is the form that I signed granting my permission to look at sealed, expunged ect. and states even as a juvenile and I’ve heard that if they do find anything it would would be just that a sealed record they wouldn’t be able to see what I did but still see I had something sealed thank you again for your time I just want to be sure they are going to find out before I tell them anything
      Scott: Depending on the court rules that apply to juvenile records, all they may find out is that your record is sealed – no specifics. Or, and not to alarm you, but because we’re dealing with humans involved at both ends of the inquiry, a glitch may result in the disclosure of certain sealed facts – it’s happened before, so don’t be surprised. It’s not a perfect system. All the best.

    • Jay
      Thu, 19 Nov 2009 at 01:22

      At 17, I got caught up in a onetime bad situation. In CA, I was adjucated with assault with intent to do great bodily harm (felony). I haven’t got it sealed and I’m now 28 and want to be a Registered Nurse but scared of how thorough their background check is for a license. Will they see it or should I seal my record first if that’s even an option for this offense? And will they still see it? I’ve never been in any other trouble, I work for the county in a decent job now but this fear has kept me from pursuing other dream careers. I’m concerned this mark will forever hold me back from my potential.
      Dear Jay: Under the laws in your state, you may be able to apply for an expungement or destruction of your juvenile records. Contact the court you were in and ask about the process to do this. Also ask about whether your record is sealed and how to go about doing that if you’re not eligible for expungement. You could also contact the lawyer who represented you at the time. Good luck.

    • John
      Thu, 19 Nov 2009 at 02:01

      hello im responding to my response”John Wed, 18 Nov 2009 at 03:58 “. I contacted my lawers who where with me during my case and i just talked to my juvenile probation officer about my case concerning my files. what is weird is that both my lawers assured me that the army should have no way of finding my juvenile record atleast thats what they are telling me. my probation officer who was assigned to me said that when i applied for any job i can just ignore and act as if nothing ever happend an can select no on the “have you ever been convicted of a crime part of any application. but im still getting info from the army recruiters saying they are not going to accept me at the moment since waivers are not being issued. should i possibly see a new recruiter or am i getting some wrong information somewhere? who should i contact regarding anything. im getting pretty confused on what should i do next i just want to get on with my life.

      Thank you, sincerly
      John-
      Dear John: We can’t give you legal advice on how you should proceed. You might try speaking with another recruiter. Good luck.

    • jack
      Thu, 03 Dec 2009 at 02:16

      why do juveniles records get sealed at 18?
      Dear Jack: If your state has a law sealing juvenile records at 18 or any other age, it’s the Legislature that has decided that adults are to be treated differently than minors. Generally the thinking is that teenagers brains are not fully developed until at least 18, and that their mistakes when younger should not be held against them later. There are obvious exceptions to this depending on the seriousness of the crime, criminal history, etc. Thanks for asking.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • mike cabalaro
      Thu, 03 Dec 2009 at 02:18

      i didnt go to court for a curfew ticket.
      and i dont have a bench warrant or nothing cause i got stopped by the cops and they checked my record.
      and they said i was clear.
      do juvenile warrents grow up to be adult warrents or does your record seal at 18 and u can begin fresh and smart.
      Dear Mike: It depends on what charge the warrant is based on. If it’s a misdemeanor or felony, it’s not likely to go away because you turn 18. There wouldn’t be a warrant on a curfew violation – plus curfew doesn’t usually apply to adults. Google your state name and “juvenile record” to see what the law is where you live regarding clearing and sealing records.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Hayley Fox
      Thu, 03 Dec 2009 at 04:30

      so if i have had two tickets under the age of 18 and now 2 years later being 19 will those two tickets effect me in any way
      Dear Hayley: It depends on what the tickets were for. If they were minor traffic tickets they may not be a concern now, but could result in a warrant or hold later if you’re stopped for something else. They may or may not be in the computer system – every jurisdiction handles these matters differently. Some charges may carry over into your adult years, even though you were ticketed as a minor. Try contacting Legal Aid in your area – they may be able to help. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • leo romero
      Fri, 04 Dec 2009 at 12:13

      in california san fernando valley does your record seal at the age of 18. im 16 and i did not go to court for a curfew tickets and did not pay a infraction for not paying for the metro. I NEED A SERIOUS RESPONSE PLEASE. will my record seal and start fresh =[
      Dear Leo: Every state has its own laws regarding the sealing of juvenile records. It isn't automatic in most states - you have to apply for it. In California, take a look at the information provided at http://www.youthlaw.org. Just type in "sealing juvenile records." Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • crystal
      Sun, 06 Dec 2009 at 12:22

      Hi, Im 24 years old I was arrested at the age of 25 for battery, battery on a police officer and resisting arrest with violence, I have reason to believe that the victim of and for the reason of arrest was the arresting officers nephew. The nephew poured orange soda on my head, after which I fought him, the officer engaged and told the boy to leave and I snatched from him (officer) and ran after the boy, and proceeded to stp him but was enraged and continually hit him while he tried to flee onto a bus, the officer caught up with me and snatched me off of the boy and instructed the bus driver to leave. after which he “officially” proceeded to arrest me. Identifying himself as an officer and taking me to the car. I was devasted at what occured and resisted arrest “handcuffed” by pushing my feet against the car. I was later charged by the above stated and was told by my attorney not to fight against the court. I plead nolo contendre. I am now 24 years old in the state of florida with no adult record. not even a speeding ticket married with children and attending school. My question is will my record prevent me from bearing arms, and employment to a state agency such as the dept of children of families. As an adult more than ever realize that I had a disturbing childhood and would like to prevent other children from being hurt and protect them according to law I would also ike to be an attorney. If I am prevented from persung my dreams, because of my record is there also any way to go back and take the arresting officer to court etc??? or something please help. I believe udoubtly that I am a beneficial member to society and have been depressed about this matter for a number of years I havealready done some research in terms of what the Florida statutes and am lost
      Dear Crystal: First, we noted that you wrote later and corrected your age – that you were 15, not 25. Thanks. As far as your future [job, school applications, etc.] read every form carefully. Language is very important when filling out applications truthfully. If you’re asked if you were ever convicted of a crime, and your case was handled in juvenile court, then you were adjudicated as a minor. It’s different if you were prosecuted as an adult even though you were under 18. Then you may have an adult record. You can call the court you were in and ask if your record is sealed and how to go about having it expunged. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • craig perez
      Tue, 08 Dec 2009 at 01:30

      i was wondering why ur record gets sealed at 18??

      like i had 4 unpaid and did not go to court tickets and at 18 i went to the dmv and my record was clear?
      why does that happen?
      Dear Craig: Every state has its own laws about juvenile records – how long they remain and when they get cleared. One of the reasons they are removed is because of the volume of cases and the number of kids who don’t reoffend after their first or second encounter with the justice system on minor offenses. The courts recognize that teens and young adults start making better decisions as they mature, and their juvenile pranks, etc. shouldn’t be held against them later in life. Thanks for asking.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Justin
      Thu, 10 Dec 2009 at 10:51

      When i was 13 i was charged with assault on a minor, I am 23 now and want to be a cop. the army wont take me because of the charge. Can I still become a cop?
      Dear Justin: That will depend on the rules of the police department that you apply to. Every state and local jurisdiction has its own rules and regulations for accepting new recruits for law enforcement. You’ll have to check with the department you’re considering working for. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Chris
      Mon, 14 Dec 2009 at 06:48

      Hi, great site. I’m now 30 and applying to law school. I’m making sure in advance that all my ducks are in a row, because these are simple issues that would never be grounds for being denied bar admission UNLESS I appear to hide anything. At the same time, volunteering totally irrelevant things is no good.

      I was “arrested” for shoplifting at age 15 (a pair of shoes). I was hauled by store security back to the store, the sheriff came and took a report, and then they released me (my parents didn’t even have to come get me, they let me go with my friend). A few weeks later, I had to go down to the Sheriff’s department, and entered into a diversion agreement to complete community service. No probation, court appearances, etc. I did the community service, 20 hours, that was the end of it. When I am asked (either by a law school application or the CA Bar Moral Fitness folks) “have you ever been convicted of a crime” am I 100% safe in answering “No”? I figure that to be “convicted” of a crime I have to be convicted by a court, not make a diversion agreement with the Sheriff at age 15.
      Thanks so much in advance for your time.
      Dear Chris: Generally, if you complete a diversion program, you’ve been “diverted” from the criminal/juvenile judicial system. Successful completion of all terms results in a clear record. If you didn’t admit in court to any crime or juvenile act of delinquency [shoplifting] you haven’t been “convicted.” Read the questions on any application carefully – language is the key to straightforward honest answers. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Derek
      Sun, 20 Dec 2009 at 05:44

      When I was 17 I caught a bad break and was charged with “malicious use of an explosive device” because of a bad july 4th prank. I went to court and got the charge dismissed and expunged. What does this mean? Im 18 and trying to get into prestigious colleges but im not sure what to say when the forms ask if ive ever been convicted of a crime etc… If my record is expunged does that mean that nothing about my arrest remains on file and I can say no to all the forms? Or will colleges and future employers be able to see that i had my record expunged? Thanks for the clarification.
      Dear Derek: If your charge was handled in juvenile court, you weren’t “convicted of a crime.” Language here is very important – read the questions on applications carefully. If your record has been expunged, it’s clear – as if it didn’t exist. But check with your local laws and maybe even call the court as to its exact meaning in your state. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • corey
      Sun, 20 Dec 2009 at 04:40

      I was stopped by the police with a friend at 2:00 am, they let him go since he was 18, but I am 17 and I got in trouble for curfew, now I have to go to court and the cops said maybe pay a fine, I was wondering what punishment I could get. I wasn’t on drugs or anything bad, we were just talking, so since it was just curfew what kind of crime is that? and can my mom get in trouble? and will the person I was with be mentioned? I live in Phoenix, Arizona. By the way I have never had trouble with the law so is it possible the judge will give me a warning?
      Dear Corey: Curfew laws are considered “status offenses” which means that only people of a certain age (juveniles) can be held in violation of these laws. Since this is your first offense and you have no prior criminal record, you are likely facing a fine and some community service hours. Some courts, including those in Arizona, have held parents responsible for their child’s curfew violations, but usually when there have been multiple violations and it is not the juvenile’s first offense. For more on curfew laws, see the following link: http://askthejudge.info/how-late-can-i-stay-out/96/#more-96
      Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice.]

    • corey
      Mon, 21 Dec 2009 at 11:29

      will this all go on my record? and my friend says this counts as a mark on my record, and if I have 2 my license gets taken away, is that true? and when I fill out job applications does this count as a crime meaning I have to put this down for that part.
      Dear Corey: Curfew usually doesn’t go on your record especially at your age – when you’re an adult, the curfew laws don’t apply to you. Curfew and driver’s licenses aren’t necessarily related – unless your state law authorizes a suspension for a curfew violation, you don’t have to worry about that. Curfew isn’t considered a “crime” so no need generally to report it on a job application. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • andrew
      Mon, 21 Dec 2009 at 02:50

      I HAD BEEN CONVICTED OF A 2ND DEGREE FELONY FLEEING N ELUDEING WHEN I WAS 17 YEARS OLD. IS THAT GOING TO AFFECT MY RECORD IN ANY KIND OF WAY IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA.
      Dear Andrew: First, it depends on whether you were charged in juvenile court or as an adult. Since you say that you were “convicted” that usually means that you were charged and convicted as an adult. In juvenile court, you are not “convicted” of a crime, but “adjudicated”. Juvenile records are typically sealed, but that does not mean that they are forever erased. You can request your record to be expunged in juvenile court, which would clear your record. If your case was in adult court, generally you can request the court to “set aside” your conviction. You can call the clerk of the court where your case was handled and ask them about the process for clearing your record. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice.]

    • corey
      Mon, 21 Dec 2009 at 06:02

      thanks, hopefully all goes well, now I just have to tell my mom, but your info was very helpful and helped relax me enough to tell her. thanks!

    • Jai
      Tue, 22 Dec 2009 at 08:50

      I just turned 21 and I was arrested and charged with retail theft misdemeanor at 18. I want to know what happens afterwards ? Does it stays until I get it expundge or was it consider a juvenile record. I live in the state of Illinois.
      Dear Jai: Since you were 18 when you were arrested and charged with theft, your case was handled in adult court. If you went through a diversion program and successfully completed the terms, you would have no record. If you pled guilty, there would be a record of the incident, which you can request the court to expunge or set aside your conviction. Call the clerk of the court where your case was handled to find out the outcome of your case. You can also request a copy of your record. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice.]

    • Amber
      Wed, 23 Dec 2009 at 06:39

      Hello,
      Last year when i was 16 i was charged with embezzlement (550) I went to court and they put me on probation and told me to find a job and pay the money back. They sent me to live with my mom and i ranaway.
      I wasn’t living with my mom before they sent me there.
      I been getting my g.e.d and taking care of my baby still trying to find a job. I want to turn myself in when im 18, because I dont want my baby to be taken away from me and I can’t live with my mom. Im 17 now i turn 18 in a couple of months. The question is will my record be sealed when im 18?? What should i do?
      Dear Amber: We do not provide legal advice to our readers, teenagers or adults. With what’s going on in your life, you should clean up your past now while you’re still a minor. We suggest you talk with your lawyer or contact your probation officer. Explain your current situation and your desire to keep your child – he or she should be able to steer you in the right direction. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • kory
      Wed, 30 Dec 2009 at 11:02

      my name is kory and i was charged with retail fraud under $10 dollars at the age of 12. the court did say it was a felony charge. im older and wiser now and looking to apply an application for employment with the f.b.i. i was just wondering if this could hurt my chances if ive been to college and have military experience?
      Dear Kory: If this was actually a shoplifting incident of an item valued under $10.00 as you say, it’s doubtful that it was a felony. In fact there may not be a record of it on file. You might want to contact the court that was involved and see what record they have of it and how it was disposed of, through diversion, a plea and probation time, etc. It’s unlikely that it alone would affect future employment opportunities. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Markus
      Fri, 08 Jan 2010 at 07:02

      my name is markus.
      when applying for government jobs should i put down that i have a juvenile records even if i had my records sealed. I was arrested for (sexual battery:restrained person, )safety c(ode 243.4(C) and one other i was arrested for (Felony possess marijana for sale), violation 11359, and was “convicted… all as a juvenile. i ask this cause a im 21 now and have been working in security /loss prevention for last few year, i went get my security guard card, and was Denied. because of the two things on my records, as juvenile. i just went to courts to get my records sealed. is my juvenile record still going come up when trying get government jobs..
      Dear Markus: You must read the question carefully and answer truthfully. In order to find out if your juvenile record is available, check with the court(s) you were before and the specific laws in that jurisdiction. You might also check with a juvenile law attorney or your parole/probation officer for details regarding sealing and destruction of records. Each state has its own laws regarding juvenile records. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Sarah
      Thu, 14 Jan 2010 at 03:12

      Hi I was in trouble as a minor for 1st degree burglary and grand theft auto. I was sentenced to a program (live in) and completed it along with community service and probation. I am not 22 own my home, married and the mother of a little boy. I have just recently been offered a GREAT job at a bank and I go to do my livescan tomorrow!!!!!!! I read the question carefully.. I was never convicted! So my question is will it show up on my background? I have contacted my old probation officer and she says it should not. Any thoughts or experiance in this field?
      P.S I live in Northern Califirnia
      Dear Sarah: It’s hard to say whether it will show up or not. It depends on whether anyone entered it into the system when the events happened years ago. It’s likely that there’s no record of it since you were a minor and the charges were processed in the juvenile system. Good luck with your employment opportunities.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • oscar
      Thu, 14 Jan 2010 at 05:39

      I have a charge on my record that reads nol pross, if i expunge it will it change from nol pross to dismissed? if not how can i change it to dismissed? the charge is 12 years old, i live in florida and trying to join army…
      Dear Oscar: You’ll need to apply to the court where the charge was handled to see how they handle these cases. There may be a form online with an explanationof the process and the outcome of getting the record expunged. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Connie
      Thu, 14 Jan 2010 at 12:25

      My question is about a young man(22 now) who was involved in a “sexual offense” at age 12. Since that time, he has jumped through all the hoops, did all his community service, classes, etc. His mother died 2 years ago which created emotional turmoil, resulting in him drinking and smoking pot. He is now incarcerated for DUI and was required to sign the “sex offenders” registry. He has been tested and is NOT at risk for re-offending. He does, however, need to clean up his act with regards to his drinking. Why is it that his record at 12 years of age, will detirmine an offense that will follow him as an adult. There was no intercourse involved or “aggravated” child molestation. All the girls were younger than him, so the “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” turned into a massive show for the prosecuting attorney. This was in 2001 and was charged in 2002 as a first offender. Please explain how this case has helped society put away the REAL child molestors? Is there any way this young man can be saved? It seems as though the wonderful court system has ruined his chance of ever having a decent life, no matter how hard he works. As a matter of fact, it seems like our court systems helped in molding him into thinking there is no way out. Is there anything that can be done? His father has spent thousands to no avail. Now the money he had is gone, but the cat and mouse game with his son is not…Is there anything or any way to help them?
      Dear Connie: His record and requirement to register as a sex offender are based on state laws. The bottom line is that he and others that make excuses for his behavior, blaming everything on the “system,” need to support him in his effort to stay clean and follow the laws. The fact that he’s back in jail says alot. Blame, finger-pointing and rationalizations for past behavior aren’t the best motivations to change. We wish this young man the best.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Sarah
      Thu, 14 Jan 2010 at 04:44

      When I was 17 I was with a few kids that egged a car and I ended up getting charged with “aiding and abetting” but the case was dismissed. I recently went for a job interview and my background check came up with this charge, although dismissed, but still visible. I now cannot get the job just because of this unless I go to court and send proof that it was over something ridiculous. I was lead to believe by my lawyer that this would not be on my permanent record. Also, I thought once you turned 18 your record was cleared anyways, but I guess not. I am wondering how to go about getting this expunged and how much this usually costs as well as why this is still showing up. Any comments/help are welcome. Thanks!
      Dear Sarah: In many states, juvenile records are not automatically expunged. You need to request it by filing a form. It shouldn’t cost you anything. Contact the court [they may have a website] and request the form to submit. It could take a month or so depending on how busy the court and local district attorney is. You could also contact your lawyer at the time and request him or her to do it, preferably without a charge. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Jessica
      Thu, 14 Jan 2010 at 06:10

      Can I join the Army if I was Commited as Juvinile for ADW when I was 16?
      I did 3 1/2 years in a California Youth correctional Facility, then was released on youth parole till my 25th birthday.
      I was violated once on parole and I was paroled in March 2006. While I was doing time for my Violation..I maxed out my ACT..(Actual Confinment time) of 144 days…and was released with only jurisdiction till my 25th birthday.
      A Recruiter told me Could Join the Army as long as the crime was more then 5years passed and Im off of parole. That he could get my juvi-record waved…is this True?
      Dear Jessica: If this is what the Army recruiter told you, then that’s what you have to live with. It sounds reasonable, as each branch of the service has its own rules regarding enlistment. It makes sense that you would have to successfully complete your parole or probation period before being sworn it. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Ashley
      Wed, 20 Jan 2010 at 03:01

      Hey this is somewhat urgent and may sound stupid. My fiance is being interview by a police department for a job as an officer, he has made it to his second interview out of three. I shoplifted once and got caught when I was about 17 and got send to diversion, and did my hours. I never told him about it and still don’t intent to, I have my reasons. Anyways the officer was looking at his facebook (I don’t have one) and he said one of his friends on FB had a MIP. If he knows that would he know I shoplifted. Can my boyfriend find out to when he become a police officer? Anyways the officer is meeting us at his house next week for the interview, what should I do?
      Dear Ashley: If you completed a diversion program, that means that you were “diverted” from the criminal justice system and formal prosecution. Consequently, there shouldn’t be an official record of the incident. As far as what you should do, that is a decision you will have to make. Honesty is always the best policy, especially with a fiance if you expect the same in return. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Chris Tarnowski
      Wed, 27 Jan 2010 at 01:55

      Hello
      I live in NY and when I was 15 I was charged with Unauthorized use of a motor vehicle (misd) Me and my buddy decided it would be a good idea to joy ride a campus owned golf cart at a local college
      I am 21 now, in my 4th semester of my Criminal Justice Degree.
      6 months probation and restitution paid should my record be diverted?
      Dear Chris: It all depends on how your case was handled in the juvenile justice system. If you participated in a “diversion” program, and successfully completed it, then there should be no official record other than a diversion notice. If you were charged, adjudicated responsible and placed on probation, then you are eligible to request a destruction of records. You might go to the court’s web site and see if they have online self-help documents. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Jill
      Thu, 28 Jan 2010 at 10:18

      I was busted for grand larceny shoplifting in seventh grade and have had one minor in possesion of marijuana and alcohol. I have been kicked out of high school for delinquency. That was over a decade ago. I can pass a background check but I just lied on my college application for a health field. Will they even find out about my high school. Even though I graduated with no troubles from that school. Went on and got a couple degrees. Going back since the market is plunged and need to get a health care job. Since jobs are hard to come by. Scared by the skeletons in my closet. Any help would be appreciated.
      Dear Jill: You need to be sure to read the wording on the applications very carefully. Typically, college applications ask about any convictions. If you were charged in juvenile court, then you were not “convicted” of anything, but rather “adjudicated”, so you can honestly answer that you have no prior convictions. We think you already know the right thing to do since you are writing us. Honesty is always the best policy. Since you graduated from high school and went on to earn a couple degrees, some trouble you got into 10 years ago at school should not make or break the application process. It’s possible that they will find out about the incident if it’s on your permanent school record, so it’s always best to answer each question on an application truthfully. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice.]

    • Stephen Cody
      Fri, 29 Jan 2010 at 03:53

      Hello,I was arrested at school for Destruction of School property.And when i went to court the school drop the charges i was just expelled from school. Does this mean its on my juvenile record at this time i was 14 years old, now im 24.
      Dear Stephen: Since the charges were dismissed, you should not have a criminal record from the incident. To confirm that there is no record, you could call the clerk of the court where the charges were originally filed and ask for a copy of your record. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice.]

    • john
      Fri, 29 Jan 2010 at 08:56

      Hello,
      I live in California and am looking to seal my juvenile record. My juvenile record has a 245a1 ADW not firearm:GBI likely, w additional charge of 422 PC-Threaten crime with intent to terrorize. It happened when I was 16 & is the remnants from a different life. I have since graduated college & now have a great job in construction management but it may require a DOJ background check for school or federal work as it comes. Any chance despite the nature of my crimes I can have my records sealed??
      Dear John: Every state has its own laws and requirements about sealing and destroying juvenile records. You have to look to the specific state laws on this. Try Googling “California juvenile records” for details or you could contact the court that you were in and ask for information. Or contact your probation or parole office who should know about the process and can advise you. They may have a form you can file, maybe even online, asking for an expungement of your records if you qualify. You may have to be a certain age before you can file [25 or 30 for example] depending on the charges, misdemeanor, felony, etc. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Jessica
      Sat, 30 Jan 2010 at 08:09

      Dear judge,
      when i was 14 i got charged for larceny. i am currently 20 now. i did do something else but that was destroyed when i turned 17. if i stand if front of court do i tell the judge about that record or does it not matter cause it was destroyed. i want to expung my 14 record. they say i cant get it off until 2020 when i turn 30. what should i do?
      Dear Jessica: Whatever you’re asked in court by the judge or the attorneys should be answered truthfully. Every state has its own laws about destruction or expungement of records. Your state may not allow it until age 30 based on the type of offense, amount involved and other factors. If it is a law that sets the age, you have to live with that and the court may not be able to act until then. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • romeo
      Tue, 02 Feb 2010 at 04:33

      hi my ? is i was charge 2 when i was 13 and failed to registered can i still have it taken off my record when i was in juvenile so that i can work
      Dear Romeo: You’ll have to check either with the court you were in or with your probation/parole officer. They should be able to tell you what the procedure is to apply for a clear record. If you failed to follow one or more of the terms ordered by the court, you may not be eligible until you resolve that issue. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • sofia
      Fri, 05 Feb 2010 at 04:04

      hi judge, heres my story. A year ago, when i was 17 i was charged with shoplifting, i live in PA. I was fingerprinted and had my picture taken, paid a fine, and went to a class. Upon completion of the class i got my record expunged. I am now 18 and looking to go into the medical field. However, they require an extensive background check including FBI. Will my exponged record show up and ruin my chances of working in a hospital?
      Dear Sofia: It’s not likely that the shoplift will appear on a records check if you completed a diversion program and had your record expinged. But there’s no absolute guaranty since computer glitches occur, records aren’t always destroyed or removed from systems, etc. Check with the court you were in about the status of your record. They should be able to tell you. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Melissa
      Tue, 09 Feb 2010 at 10:58

      Hey Judge,
      I was wondering what you think the outcome of my case would be. I was charged for speeding 25mph in a 20 zone (not 25mph over, I was literally driving 25 mph)long story short I was charged with a DWAI and possession. My lawyer says that I’ll most definitely get the DWAI (which I understand) but the possession is 50/50 I might get it but I would have to not get into any trouble for a year(which is reasonable but my financial aid would get affected if i get charged for possession) I’m currently in Rehab and my court date is next week. I’ve never been in actual trouble before, I never even got a speeding ticket. I’m attending rehab, participating and turning out negative on my drug test. I started seeing a psychologist because this whole legal issue has been really stressing me out, to the point that I’ve been depressed, anxious, and can not stop thinking about what may happened over the summer. My psychologist thinks I should stop beating myself up about it (since I’ve been doing it for the past 5 months)I just wish the judge could talk to my psycologist or something just to get an insight on how this really effected me not just legally but emotional, with school, and my social life altogether. My psychologist also was wondering whether a letter from her help out in any way to demonstrate to the judge that I’m truly remorsefully of the situation and though he is still required to punish me, I just would like for him to take that into some consideration. I would just like to have some peace of mind and actually do something fun since I really can’t until this stress is taken away or at least reduced.
      Thanks..
      Melissa
      (from NY)
      Dear Melissa: It sounds like you’ve learned alot from this experience. Don’t let the lesson fade as time goes by. Since you have a lawyer, you need to discuss with him the value of having your therapist write a letter to the court. He or she should know the practice in your area as well as the judge’s inclination to consider such at your hearing. Your lawyer should also know what the likelihood is of getting one charge dismissed in return for admitting the other charge. Your psychologist is right – what’s done is done. Face the music and get on with your life. Life is full of good and bad lessons, it’s what you do with the experiences that matter. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Lisa Maury
      Wed, 10 Feb 2010 at 04:17

      Here it goes… currently 21 yrs old i Have an associates degree in Criminal Justice. I want to eventually get a ba in C/J and work as a probabtion officer. I am a bit iffy on continuing with this major/field however because i do have a Juvenile record. Id like to know would i still be able to do what ive always dreamed of with Grand theft on my record at 13 yea hard to say &(embarrassed) is an understatement at this point. Thanks
      Dear Lisa: Assuming you were on probation and successfully completed all terms, consider applying to have your juvenile record expunged. Contact the court you were in and ask about the procedure to accomplish this – forms may be on the court’s website. At 13, with no probation violations or new charges, there shouldn’t be an impediment to your plans for a criminal justice career. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Lisa Maury
      Wed, 10 Feb 2010 at 06:00

      okay im not exactly sure how it all went i was a bit scared & never looked into it. I never went to court i was arrested at the time but nothing further. Never did probation or anything the case was never brought up again. Thinking of this maybe i should head down to my local court house & eee exactly how it was handled.
      Dear Lisa: Based on what you’ve said, you may not have a record at all. But it’s worth checking just to put your mind at ease. If you do, you can clear it for the future. All the best.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Lisa Maury
      Wed, 10 Feb 2010 at 06:01

      Thanks for your advice.

    • Hakim A
      Thu, 18 Feb 2010 at 01:01

      Would you know the laws in New Hampshire for people with juvenile records(if they automatically get expunged,sealed)?
      Thanks.
      Dear Hakim: Because state laws vary and are subject to change/modification, we don’t provide readers with specific information on laws. Instead we can lead you to resources so you can check them out yourself and obtain the most current information. Regarding juvenile records, we suggest you Google your state name followed by “juvenile records.” You can also research this on http://www.findlaw.com. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Kathy Ly
      Sun, 21 Feb 2010 at 12:04

      I was given a misdemeanor yesterday and didn’t think about the consequences it came with. I was with my cousin and a friend and we were all convicted of shoplifting. We are all under 18 and live in the state of California. My question is, is there any way that I could pay a fine, do community service, and etc. to have it not be placed on my record at all? I have a friend that had gotten in trouble for the same general offense and he was given multiple things that he had to do to be able to have his misdemeanor not placed on any kind of record. Will I be able to be granted the same option?
      Dear Kathy: You say you were convicted yesterday of misdemeanor shoplifting. That tells us you were either represented by a lawyer, or represented yourself at the hearing. Either way, you should have met with a court officer or probation officer. He or she should be able to tell you about the consequences you face when the judge imposes the penalty. It could be work hours, a fine, restitution to the victim, etc. with a chance of a expunging your record after you complete all terms ordered by the court. Ask about having your record destroyed when you’re no longer under the court’s jurisdiction. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • melissa
      Tue, 23 Feb 2010 at 04:47

      When I was 14, I was arrested for shoplifting (felony) and went to teen court. When I was 17, I was arrested for assault on an office resisting arrest non violently(felony) and the case was sent to a diversion program. Last, when I was 20 years old I was arrested for criminal mischief (+1000 felony, keying a car)but the state attorny did not charge me or pick up the case due to lack of evidence. My question is this, I am now 25 and am in my senior year at a university majoring in psych on the honors society GPA 3.7, I wanted to get a doctorate & become a liscensed psychologist, will I have trouble with the board or being hired when I graduate grad school when Im 29 years old if my last arrest was when I was 20?
      Dear Melissa: Based on your comments above, it does not appear that you have a “record” of conviction. Read all questions on job and school applications very carefully and answer truthfully. If the question asks for arrests, state the facts and explain the outcome. The minimum requirements of licensing boards differ from state to state. You might check with yours in advance so you’re prepared to address any concerns they may have. Good luck in your educational pursuits.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Jeff
      Tue, 23 Feb 2010 at 09:26

      At around the age of 14 I was charged with petty theft, being a first and only time offender I completed the Deferred Entry of Judgment and had my record sealed when I turned 18, im 25 now and wonder will any of this show up on a background check, particularly DOD or FBI. Will any records exist at all?
      Dear Jeff: Generally, a record wouldn’t exist if your case was deferred and you completed the terms of the agreement with the state or court. Anything is possible because states differ regarding their record-keeping and reporting. You could contact the court you were in and ask about your record and its availability to others, public and private. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Jeff
      Wed, 24 Feb 2010 at 04:51

      This took place in California and the day I turned 18 the paperwork to have this destroyed was filled out. Also in this case I was never arrested. All paperwork including the DAs original copy were sent to me for my own records. Do you have any more specifics as to how DEJ works and what could possiably show up in a background check?
      Dear Jeff: From what you’ve described, there doesn’t appear to be any record to worry about. If you filed a request for destruction of records, check back with the agency or court and see what’s happened. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Jack
      Wed, 24 Feb 2010 at 02:50

      If i was detained by the store but was never sined anything but payed the fine. do i have to tell my college about this or any future institution in which i apply.
      Dear Jack: In applying for college, military or employment in the future, read the questions very carefully and answer truthfully. Since you didn’t go to court, you weren’t convicted of a crime. It sounds like your case was handled through the civil process whereby you pay a fine to the store and the matter is closed. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Charles Mrizek
      Wed, 24 Feb 2010 at 08:36

      I was arrested and convicted on more than one occasion as a child. I had a lawyer that had my record expunged/ sealed. Now Im trying to join the army special forces and they want me to go down to the local juvenile center to pick up a copy of my records. I was wondering if i go down there will they have anything to give me when i ask them of a copy
      Dear Charles: The answer to your question depends on the policy of the juvenile court you were in and your state law regarding juvenile records. Try calling the court for information about their process. You could also call the lawyer you used and ask him or her about this. Good luck in the military and thanks for your service.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Cindy Parker
      Thu, 25 Feb 2010 at 08:28

      I am trying to join the military and I already talked to the Army and they said my expunged juvenile record would show up on the federal database when I was sent to MEPs. Today I talked with the Navy recruiter and he told me that if they can’t find it when they do their own search (not MEPs) then just to not mention it again. But I have heard they can pull up records that hae been expunged at MEPs and I do not want to get charged with fraud or be discharged over something a recruiter tells me. I have been totally honest with the recruiters and even showed them my charges and the order of expungement (charges from 2005, order from 2008). I’m just really worried that it will show up at MEPs and I won’t be able to get in to any branch. They were drug charges and the Navy recruiter said to contact them tomorrow and see if they found anything in their search.
      Dear Cindy: You’re handling this in a commendable manner. You have nothing to hide and more to lose by not being upfront about your past. It will be up to the military to turn you away or accept you based on the results of their search. Hopefully your honesty will pay off. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Martin
      Sun, 28 Feb 2010 at 10:54

      Hello,
      In the process of getting a CHL in TX. I was arrested for curfew as a minor in 1998. I am 27 now and need to know if I should include this information on the application. The incident occured in my hometown OKC, OK. I was told that if I completed my community service (30hrs and 12 book reports :) )and complete my probation of 3 months that this would be taken off my record. Should I just contact the courts to see if this offense is still on my record, or should I not even worry and not even bother to report this incident on the application? Any and al help is greatly appreciated
      Dear Martin: Since this minor offense happened 12 years ago when you were a juvenile, there is probably no record of it. You may want to check with the court or police to make sure and put your mind at ease, but it’s unlikely anything exists today if you completed all terms handed down at the time. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Jeanne
      Wed, 03 Mar 2010 at 03:36

      Hello,
      Glad to see how many sincere young people want to serve the country. Is is serving no one to deny them ability to serve due to most of these juvenile missteps. Let’s hope that the rules are changed so these young people can serve. Rules are important, unreasonable application of them is an injustice.
      Thank you to all who are trying to serve our country.
      Dear Jeanne: Thank you for your comments.

    • Pam
      Thu, 04 Mar 2010 at 03:39

      My daughter who is 17 now was at a relatives house along with some of his other friends for a get together. The problem is her cousin( he is 18) entered into the unit when the locks were changed, (although they still had some of their property in the unit). My daughter and the other parties involved did not know anything about her cousin and his mother going to court and having to move @ the time. Some one in the building called the police and all of the people in the unit were arrested for criminal tresspassing. We have been to court 3 times and have to appear again. By the time we appear again she will be 18. Will her case be dropped since she is now 18? We live in illinois.
      Thank you.
      Dear Pam: It’s unlikely the charge would be dropped because she turns 18. Depending on the laws in your state, she may still be treated as a minor on this charge since it happened when she was under 18. Or she could be treated as an adult if the charge is dismissed and refiled after she becomes an adult. Since you’ve already been to court several times about this, ask her attorney or public defender how it will be handled once she turns 18. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • josh
      Fri, 05 Mar 2010 at 12:54

      hi my names josh im 15 living in california and yesterday i was arrested for sales of an uncontroled substance(weed) and possesion and it was at school do you think this will ever go away?
      Dear Josh: It depends on how this charge is handled in the juvenile system. If you are a first-time offender and offered a diversion program, you may be able in the future to ask for your record to be destroyed or expunged. Diversion means that upon completion of community work, a class or counseling, and payment of a fine, the matter is closed. If you’re prosecuted and admit the charge, you may be placed on probation with similar terms and possibly random drug testing. If you’re caught again and charged with a drug violation, you’ll be facing juvenile detention or jail time. Your lawyer will explain all of this to you. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Justin
      Sat, 06 Mar 2010 at 09:17

      Hi my name justin im 18 years old when i was 16 i was charged wit deadly weapon on school property. I was young dumb and irrisponsible. Im now attending college and i wanted to know ifthat incident will affect my chances in having a succesful if a career at all in the justice system as an forensic scientist.
      Dear Justin: It depends on your state’s laws. Check with your parole or probation officer about the process to have your juvenile record expunged. You still may have to wait a year or two before you’re eligible. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • jack
      Sat, 06 Mar 2010 at 01:45

      my friend had probabtion on the state of california and was put on hold until further notice between that time he hit someone with the bat in the head now his an adult his 19 will it still show up once he goes back to cali
      Dear Jack: It depends on the length of probation imposed by the court. It could be in effect until he’s 21 under the state’s youthful offender laws. You also asked if a warrant “goes away” once you turn 18 – not usually. It depends on whether the underlying crime was a misdemeanor or felony, or if the warrant was issued for failure to appear at a hearing. He should contact his probation officer with these questions. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • jack
      Sat, 06 Mar 2010 at 05:16

      well thank you very much but i would also like to ask his probation was going to end when he turn 16 but since he violated probation they were going to give him more in the state of california but since he was a minor and his parents were going to move to the state of texas he never when to none of the courts??will it affect him when he goes??
      Dear Jack: The court could have issued a warrant for his arrest because he missed his court date or other hearings. Sometimes warrants are ordered to be effective in the issuing state only. That means if he returns to California and is stopped for a traffic violation, for example, the warrant would show up on his record. The officer who stops him could then arrest him and take him before a judge regarding the warrant.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • jack
      Sat, 06 Mar 2010 at 06:40

      my friend and his cousin were attacked by four other guys my friend hit one of them with a bat but it is self defense isnt it ???
      Dear Jack: It depends entirely on the circumstances – who did what first, whether the bat was the least amount of force that could have been used, whether alcohol or other mind-altering substances were involved, etc. Your friend will find out if and when any charges are filed. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • letty
      Sun, 07 Mar 2010 at 08:18

      when you cross the borderline mexico to the us and your a us citizine but have a warrant will it show up when your crossing?will i get arrested
      Dear Letty: It depends on the type of warrant and the underlying charge. If the crime is a felony and the issuing court designated it as a national warrant, you could be arrested and returned to the jurisdiction that issued it. If the crime is a lesser offense, and a warrant limited to one state, then you may avoid arrest on the warrant. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Jeff
      Mon, 08 Mar 2010 at 03:27

      I am talkin to a navy recruiter in a couple of days… should i tell them of my juvy record? or not?
      Dear Jeff: If you’re asked about it, tell the truth. Otherwise they may find out anyway and the consequences of lying may be worse than being up front in the first place. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Charles Mrizek
      Wed, 10 Mar 2010 at 12:31

      I live in the state of California. I got arrested when i was a minor. I later went to court and had my record sealed. Now I need a copy of my court paper work showing what charges were dropped and what charges I was charged with. Is that anyway I can get them even tho my file is sealed. I went to the court house and they told me they could not access them is there any other way? Thank you so much for your help.
      Dear Mr. Mrizek: You could try writing to the Presiding Judge of the court were in as a minor and explain what you need and why. If that doesn’t get you anywhere, you may have to speak with a lawyer regarding this. Your local court may have a FLAP [Free Legal Assistance Program] where you can meet with a lawyer for a limited time [30 minutes, for example] and ask your questions. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Ricardo Donato
      Mon, 15 Mar 2010 at 09:41

      I am 18 years old now, when i was 15 i got arrested for a felony (burglary), but the charges were dropped to a misdeanor for tresspassing, I live in Brooklyn,new York, i am in the process of enlisting in the Navy and am having some problems getting in because of this arrest, My record since this has been spotless, not even a parking ticket to my name. The problem is, my recruiter needs me to get either a court minute or an arresting officers report in order for me to receive a waiver. But the only papers i have about the arrest are a paper that says that it was sealed and the disposition, iv been told by the supervisor down at family court that my court minute and arresting officers report have been “destroyed”…and i supposedly need those documents. and about the arrest i did 25 ours of community service and a probation period..all completed. What should i do? is it possible that my record has been destroyed, and will it come up on a military background check?
      Dear Ricardo: You never know what may show up on a background check, even when records have supposedly been destroyed. So being upfront when asked about your past is best. You might try contacting your probation officer and asking him or her for a letter setting forth your involvement with the court and successful completion of probation. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Angela
      Mon, 15 Mar 2010 at 11:18

      My fiance (an earnest, loving, hardworking father of 5) is fighting a court case where officers arrested him for failure to register for Megan’s Law – he was tried as a juvenile (in arbitration court)over a he-said she-said case that he still claims innocence of whether or not both teens agreed to oral copulation during consensual…; served the time; passed probation with honors; earned his college degree upon release; sealed his records and now has gone to court 5 times over something he hasn’t yet been charged for, but was threatened jail time and a misdemeanor. It has been past the 7 years he was told he had to register, and yet he kept getting pulled over and arrested. Help!
      Dear Angela: Askthejudge.info is an educational website for teens about the law. Consequently we are unable to assist you or your fiance. In addition, we do not provide legal advice to adults or teenagers. Your fiance needs to consult a criminal attorney regarding his situation. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Chris
      Tue, 16 Mar 2010 at 03:16

      Can the DOD legally pull your records in CA?
      Dear Chris: Take a look at http://www.defense.gov for the Department of Defense. The site explains many aspects of the DOD including its authority to conduct investigations. With or without a search warrant, they may be able to access state records regarding an individual depending on the nature of the investigation. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Chris
      Tue, 16 Mar 2010 at 10:21

      Does the FBI only database arrests that contain fingerprints?
      Dear Chris: Usually when someone is arrested, they are fingerprinted and the prints may be entered into various databases. In addition, people interviewed without being fingerprinted may be noted in files or databases. Being printed isn’t necessarily a requirement to be listed in a database.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Jacob
      Wed, 17 Mar 2010 at 11:50

      When i was 14, I was caught shoplifting. They said that it wasn’t going in my criminal records, but one of the security man said that info will still be kept, the cops came and took the info, but I didn’t go to jail, i didn’t pay a fine either. I was kept in the security room of the place, and i was just wondering if in an interview they ask me if i was arrested before, what do i answer? I’m also not sure if the security man was just trying to scare me. Anyways i live in Ontario Canada if that helps.
      Dear Jacob: If you weren’t charged with shoplifting or go to court, you weren’t convicted of a crime. The information may be on file with the store or even with the police, but you wouldn’t have an official court record showing a conviction. If the police didn’t formally arrest you, only questioned you and let you go, then you can honestly answer the question with a no. Only you know what exactly happened at the time – be truthful in answering all employment and college application questions. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Charles Mrizek
      Thu, 18 Mar 2010 at 06:08

      Is there a way I can file a petition to have my record unsealed in the state of California without hiring an attorney. I need a copy of it and went to the courthouse and they told me they could not access it because it was sealed. Thank you for your time once again.
      Dear Charles: Contact your probation officer or his supervisor and ask about the process to obtain your record. You always have the right to represent yourself. Many proceedings in court do not require the involvement of an attorney. Ask your court if they have a FLAP [free legal assistance program] where you obtain legal advice [usually 30 minutes or so] with no obligation to pay. There may be a sliding scale fee if you decide to hire the lawyer you meet with. Or you can write to the presiding judge of the court and ask about unsealing your record. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Nicole Dennis
      Sun, 21 Mar 2010 at 01:54

      When i was 15 in Oak Park, Michigan and was shoplifitng at Target and everything came up to a total of about $85.00 and a few weeks later target sent me something in the mail to pay $200.00 and i never did pay it or never had to go to court or ever seen nothing else about it. and now im 17 turning 18 this summer. and im trying to get a job after i complete this job corp program at the end of April This year but i will not get one after they do a background check. how can i get this record removed and where do i go?
      Dear Nicole: Since you never heard anything further from the police or the court, it’s likely the matter is closed and there’s no record except with the store. Answer all questions on applications truthfully, but read them carefully. You weren’t convicted of a crime since you didn’t go to court. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Jacob
      Sun, 21 Mar 2010 at 10:00

      I was wondering, although i didn’t get a criminal record, I was wanting to volunteer at a youth center, but they ask for a criminal records’ backgrounds check at a local police station. So I’m not sure whether or not they are going to be able to find out if I had shoplifted before. (I was brought into the security room of the store I shoplifted at, I got let out after some time of questioning, and giving out some information to the police. I didn’t pay a fine, I was just banned from store for a year) Also, is something like this going to be able to affect me if I decide to go into law school or a police academy?
      Dear Jacob: If you weren’t charged with shoplifting or go to court over the incident, you weren’t convicted of anything. The only record may be with the store and the police, but no official record of conviction or adjudication from the juvenile court. It shouldn’t affect future pursuits as long as you haven’t repeated the behavior. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Fermin
      Tue, 23 Mar 2010 at 11:49

      My name is Fermin and I was charged with a crime I did not do as a juvinile at the age of 15. I will admit growing up in the inner-city of Miami I did once got arrested just joy riding in a stolen car, I really thought it was cool and just wanted to fit in. So I could recall the day of the shooting like yesturday. What happen was something real dumb, a dispute over a juvenile female. I did not have anything to do with that crime, I was just there with my girlfriend, and the other guys pulled out a gun and started shooting at each other. Thank God no one got shoot or hurt. But since the guys who was around me, no one knew them but myself. My name was brought up, and where I grew up you couldn’t tell or your life and family was in danger. I got threaten by the group of boys who fired the gun and told me that if I say they name I will be in big trouble and they will kill me. So as a young teenage boy I was scared and did not have anyone to turn to but my family. So on the way home I seen police officers at my home, so I panic and ran to the store. In the inner city it was alot of crimes and drug deals in that area. So crime was an everyday thing. My parents was always there for us, but they had to work 2-3 jobs just to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. Growing up in the late 80′s and 90′s was not easy in Miami. Plus we was a 1st generation family to the USA. Now we are all U.S. Citizens of this country. But at the time of the panic I did a mistake of a lifetime that kept and still is harming me and following me over the years. I went and seen some older “G” in the neighborhood at the store. I told them the situation and they told me not to go home and by a gun for protection. As a young boy I was scared and we looked up to those thugs and older gangster in our neighborhoods because they had the nice cars and the nice cloths and flashy jewels. So I got sucked up. I just had cashed my check early that day in order to have money for the date with my girlfriend. I had a parttime job at Burger King through work experiance class at the High School I was attending at that time. I could recall the check was less then $50 and working for $3.35 an hour could take you so far. So the man at the store sold me the gun for $40 bucks. It was a 380 browniee not loaded. He told me I had to buy my own bullets. So I just thought as long as I have the gun, I could just pull it out to scare the people who ever tries to attack me. So I stayed out for days and sent messages to my parents through my older brother, just to tell them I was ok. I put them through alot in those few days. So it was time to go back to school, and I went to school with this gun with no bullets. The same kids that got shoot at attened that school, they were older then me that is why I did not know them. So when I was spotted it the school property the police was called and I got arrested a few blocks away from the school in a car with 4 other guys I asked to give me a ride home. When we was pulled over the police had alot of guns pointed at me and the other kids, I just told them I had a gun on my waistband. It was not loaded and also it did not have any bullets. The police removed the gun from my waistband and started to punch me in the face and slam me on the hot hook of the car. They let the other boys go, and they brought over the kids father and brother who was a victim of the shooting to threaten me and call me names. But the police over the days on the shooting and even that day never came to the shooting crime scence or had any evendence that that was the same gun. Plus they said the car was struck with gun shoots, that was not true because I seen when the shooter aim in the sky. So I went to juvenile jail for 21 days and then direct filed to the Adult County jail and charged as an adult. I was charged with 2-counts of agg. assult 2 counts of shoot and throwing deadly missle in to car or building and a carry a firearm. But when I got direct file to the adult jail and charged as an adult, the state attorney office changed my charges to 2 counts of Attm. Murder. I really think that was wrong. But since I told them that I could not tell on the guys because my family was in danger, they just told me you made your bed so lay in it. You do not look so tuff now. So as a poor young man in jail with no knowledge to the laws I plead guilty from the advice from my public defender, who only came seen and talk to me one time in the 11 months I was in jail. I took a plea deal of 1-year in prison and 5-years c.c. control / probation. A FERY BIG MSTAKE. So when I got out of prison I had to deal with alot of other issues, the probation officer was a very rude and mean lady and to top it off she was 6- month preq. very cranky at all times. She once told me, people like you should rot in prison for life, I am bring a new child in this world and I do not want my child to share the free world with people like you. So be ready to be violated soon. So I was accused on a crime that was done by my next door neighbor, he admitted in court that I did not have anything to do with that. But the courts said I was arrested and is a violation. I explained the charges was dropped during trail, why am I violated. So my so-called public defender guide me to stop the trail that I was winning, and told me to just take a plea deal and I will get out today. I did so and was sent to prison for 5-years for the violation. He wrote me a letter over the months and said he was sorry and he mislead me. So over the years I got those charges dissmissed and one lowered to a mis.meanor. I was got arrested againg for a crime becuse they pulled my record up, this time I was prepared and had money to hire a private attorney, and knowledge by the law. The charges was (Disposition as no action. Because the kid made the whole thing up. Now I am the founder of an organization. Fingerprints Enterprise Inc. a non-profit org. that helps kids and felons in the USA know the laws and stop Anti-Recidivism. http://www.fingerprintsenterinc.org I am not happy I went to prison, but if not maybe I will not have this vision to help others. I still find the roads tough for me at times. Is hard now for a company like mines that is a non-profit org. with an active 501(c)3 get federal funding. I have a program that is sure to help these youth stay focus in life. But I need help. But my question is how can I clean all my record from this life long nightmare. I want to be able to get my gun license. Will I be able to ever clean my record. Please Judge let me know if I can or not.
      Thank you, Fermin
      Dear Fermin: Regarding your criminal record and eligibility to have it expunged, you’ll need to check the specific laws of your state. You may not be able to for a period of time depending on the exact offenses, class of felony, your current age, etc. The laws have requirements that must be met before a court considers clearing a record. Contact your last probation or parole officer and ask. Good luck with your organization – hopefully the lessons you’ve learned can be passed on to others.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • John n/a
      Mon, 05 Apr 2010 at 09:51

      I’m on probation for criminal damage to property charges.
      I was recently pulled over and a open bottle of alcohol (which I found out my dad had left in the car) was in the back. I plan to pay this ticket off right away as I have the money saved. I’m more worried, will this cause a violation? I was given a breathe analyzer and it was all 0′s.
      Should i worry when I tell my probation officer?
      Dear John: One of the terms of probation is usually to abide by the laws of your state and not get into any trouble. Therefore, the citation and/or conviction for open container in a vehicle is likely to be a violation of your probation. However, if you explain the circumstances to your probation officer, he/she may be understanding and give you a break and possibly assign additional community service hours, etc. If you were represented by an attorney for the criminal damage offense, you could run this by him/her to find out their thoughts on the issue. Good luck.

      [This is information only - not legal advice.]

    • nathan
      Tue, 13 Apr 2010 at 10:55

      hi i am 17 years old and a couple of months ago i got in a fight which led to the charge of aggrivated assualt. im bein tried as a juvenile and im going to school to be a registered nurse.
      my question is: if convicted of the assualt in the state of arizona will my record be sealed from employers after i turn 18?
      Dear Nathan: Employers don’t usually ask for juvenile records. If you’re found guilty of the charge, after a certain period of time, depending on whether it’s a misdemeanor or felony, you can apply to the court for an expungment of your record. When you go to court on this charge, ask your lawyer or probation officer about getting your record cleared when the time comes. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Anthony
      Mon, 19 Apr 2010 at 08:27

      Hi right now i am 17 years old. when i was 16 i was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and it was considered a felonie. The judge gave me 9 months camp but my public defender told me that since my charge was a felonie, i couldn’t have my record sealed. Since it was a juvenile offense and i was never tried as an adult, will my felonie appear in background checks when applying to a college or a job p.s. i have no intention of joing the military so im talking about a regular 9-5 probably a pharmacy technician.
      Dear Anthony: The specific laws of your state dictate what becomes a public record or remains sealed. Once you turn 18, you may be able to apply to the court for an expungment of your juvenile record. In some states you have to wait until you’re 21 or 25 if your juvenile record includes a felony. Ask your probation officer about this – he or she should know the laws that apply to you. Generally, employers and colleges don’t obtain juvenile records in considering hiring or admission applications. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Tonya B
      Thu, 22 Apr 2010 at 09:56

      I have a question, I was arrested when I was 12 years of age and convicted as a juvenile for 2 felonies. I am now 29 years of age and I’m trying to become a registered nurse. I am scared to apply to the BRN for my license because of this… Will it come out in the FBI files? How far do they go back? What is your suggestion?
      Dear Tonya: Unless you were tried in adult court, even as a 12-year-old, it’s unlikely that these offenses would show up on a record check. However, you can’t be 100% certain because glitches do occur. You could check with your local police department and request a record check on yourself to see what, if anything, shows up. It may cost a small fee to do this. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • iselene donaway
      Mon, 26 Apr 2010 at 03:38

      my sister’s dauqhter 17 turninq 18 she has a warrant out for her arrest she had 4 accounts aqainst her . judge changed it to 1 felony . what will be the best way to handle this situation ?? should she turn herself in or what ? she is taking college classes and doing community service ??? working on her ged as well . taking online classes for highschool . what do you think ??? when she turn 18 what is going to happen ??? will they give her alot of time for a crime she did as a youth
      Dear Iselene: Since the crime is designated a felony, it’s not likely to go away when she turns 18. It will follow her around until it’s resolved. She should turn herself in while she’s still a minor since the consequences will be less in the juvenile system than as an adult after she turns 18. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • iselene donaway
      Mon, 26 Apr 2010 at 11:57

      ohh okay . so she is turning is 18 soon . how much time you think she is going do ? she decided to finish all what they asked for and then go to court so she will have something to show them ???
      Dear Iselene: It’s impossible for us to say. It’s up to the judge and the rules/laws that apply to her case. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • juventino
      Tue, 27 Apr 2010 at 07:38

      I’ve wanted to be a Marine for as long as i can remember. A year ago i was trying to sign in to the Marines but my juvenile record came up and they stopped their. I now have my juvenile record sealed and i continue to want to join.I spoken to another Marine, I was told that maybe he can get me in but if my juvenile record comes up when they do an FBI background ckeck I might be discharged.Can the military reopen my juvenile record and dicharge me.
      Dear Juventino: If your juvenile record isn’t acceptable by the Marines according to their admission standards, they can decide to deny your application. If they discover it after accepting you, their rules regarding allowing you to remain will apply. A lot depends on what exactly is on your record. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Julie martinez
      Sat, 08 May 2010 at 07:30

      I made two fake police reports on my son one and had him convicted. One when he was 10, felony injury to child with bodily injury and wreckless conduct and at age 16, misdemeanor assult. He never dud any of these things, I was just mad. Now he’s 17 and wants to join the arm forces, what can we do?
      Dear Ms. Martinez: This is a serious matter and one that you should discuss with a criminal lawyer. In order to make things right you may have to admit what you did and face charges yourself. The consequences may result in your incarceration. You need legal advice that this web site does not provide. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Angela
      Sun, 23 May 2010 at 05:36

      Hello. I hope that you can help me a little with my situation. I have tried to research but I can not find anything specific. When I was 17 years old, I got arrested for misdemeanor shoplifting in the state of Georgia. I was charged as an adult and I plead guilty. I was never informed of a first offender’s act or anything like that. I did not have an attorney. I just went to court, and it was a lot like traffic court where there are several people in the room and the judge calls you up and asks how you plead. I plead guilty and had to pay a fine of about 100 dollars or so. I was not aware at that time that I could have plead no lo or first offenders or anything other than guilty or not guilty. I am now 22 years old and almost finished with my nursing school. I know that I must disclose this information to the Georgia Board of nursing regardless, but I was wondering if there was anything that I could do as far as getting my record expunged or sealed or anything? I know that it is hard to get a record sealed in Georgia if you plead guilty in court, but I was wondering since I was not informed of the first offenders act if there was anything that I could do about that? It has been 5 years since my conviction and I have not had anymore trouble or anything. This was just a momentary lapse in judgement. Thank you so much for your time.
      Dear Angela: You could contact the court that you were in at 17. Ask about the process for expunging your record. There may be an online form you could complete and file with the court. You may be eligible for expungement since, as you said, it’s been five years and no further incidents. You could also ask at the same time if they have a free legal assistance program for the public. You could meet with a criminal lawyer for a consultation about this. Usually the fees are waived for the first meeting or very low depending on your financial means. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Trey
      Tue, 25 May 2010 at 12:15

      i have a few questions/concerns that maybe you could help me out with please. i am 17 and turning 18 in about a month and a few weeks ago i was caught drinking and blew a very low number. in my state i have the option of going to teen court and serving community service and by doing so this incident will not be shown on my record or i could goto juvinelle court and be sentanced accordingly, which would be my best option? doesnt my record go clean once i turn 18? any advice would be helpful. thanks
      Dear Trey: Teen Court is usually for low offenses and is a better option than proceeding formally through juvenile court. You receive a consequence and once you complete it, the case is closed with no official record to worry about. Not all offenses are wiped from your record at age 18. It depends on the laws of your state and the severity of the crime. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Sabrina
      Wed, 26 May 2010 at 02:04

      Hi,
      My friend currently has a warrant out. She is 17 turning 18 in september. She has a warrant because she failed to appear for court and she was a runaway at the time of her court that she failed to appear at. If she turns 18 will the warrant go away or will it stay until she resolves it? Also, can she fly on an airplane to another state?
      Dear Sabrina: Whether the warrant remains in the system after she turns 18 depends on what it was issued for in the first place – the underlying crime. If the charge is a felony and depending on the laws in your state, it could follow her into adulthood. Regarding leaving the state, that depends on whether the warrant is local only or a national warrant. She could call the court or her probation officer, if she has one, to ask about this before her 18th birthday. If she had a lawyer in the earlier case, she could also call him or her for advice. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Sabrina
      Wed, 26 May 2010 at 07:58

      So, if the whole warrant was for her not attending court and being absent without an excuse. The whole reason she had to go to court was because she was on probation for juvenile runaway. Will it still stick with her after she turns 18?
      Dear Sabrina: If the only offense was a runaway charge, then it shouldn’t follow her into adulthood. Runaway is one of those charges that only juveniles can commit, like truancy or disobedience. So the warrant on the runaway charge should go away when she turns 18. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • alexandra
      Thu, 27 May 2010 at 10:00

      Hello judge,
      I wanted to know if am automatically disqualified from applying to law enforcment. This has been a life long dream of mine and about 4 years ago I was accused of shoplifting because I was around the wrong people at the wrong time but because I happened to be there as well I was fined as a misdeomenor. I wasn’t taken to jail however I was finger printed and photographed. The officer told me I wasn’t charged as a felon at all but the next time that this happens its a felony. What should I do…
      Dear Alexandra: Depending on how your case was handled, you may or may not have a record. If you do, you may be eligible to apply to have it expunged. Call the court you were in and ask. If you didn’t go to court at all, there’s nothing to worry about. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Noah
      Fri, 28 May 2010 at 11:53

      I have a juvenile record in the state of illinois i was 16 when convicted of battery. I am now going to school to become a nurse and the cna class i have to take now has a fingerprint background check instead of paper background check. Will my record come up on this type of background check or no?… It was sealed and if it will come up i am planning to get it expunged thank you.
      Dear Noah: It’s hard to say whether it will appear on a background check or not. Since you were a minor and you say that the record was sealed, it may have been expunged already because you’re now 21. Check with the court you appeared in regarding its status. They should also be able to give you the documents needed to apply for expungement if a record still exists. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Sabrina
      Mon, 31 May 2010 at 02:05

      Thank you Judge. You give great advice.
      You’re more than welcome.

    • Henry
      Fri, 04 Jun 2010 at 03:49

      Hello Judge
      Living in CA at the age of 17 in high school I took some bad advise and did something stupid. I stole money from my employeer. I ended up having 3 charges (1-embezzelment, 2-theft as a felony and 3-false report to the police). I ended up telling the truth in the end to the police. I went to juvenile court and was given one year probation, 100 hours of community service, and pay restitution fee and if everything was completed sucessfully then it would be dismissed as if nothing ever happened since this is the only trouble I have ever gotten into. I completed everything sucessfully.
      Currently I am 26 and have a BA in Criminal Just. and other academic and work credentials. My goal is to become a police officer one day or a government agent with security clearance. I havent had any problems going through any jobs or even the ones that require fingerprints/livescans. I even went through backgrounds with DOJ and FBI when I registered for ownership of a firearm and applied to obtain a exposed firearms permit so I can use it for work. And during all the times when I applied I never disclosed any info about my juvenile record. I recently went back to the same juvenile court where I was at when I was 17 and requested a copy of my juvenile records and it didnt show any record of the incident. I do know that juvenile records are sealed once they turn adult. But in this case has my record been sealed or expunged? I have tried finding out if it was automatically expunged after succesfully completing the one year term but have had no luck. Also is it possible that the police dept. have access to my record if I apply for a position? Or even a police dept. out of the state of CA?
      Thank You
      Dear Henry: Since you fully complied with your probation terms, it’s possible that your records with the court have been destroyed. However, that doesn’t mean that they don’t exist with the police department. Contact your probation officer or his/her supervisor to see if any records exist and how to go about having them expunged if they do. You could also contact the police department to see if they have anything on record. Good luck in your future pursuits.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • jerry
      Mon, 07 Jun 2010 at 05:48

      when i was 17 i was charge with a dui. now that im 22 unfortunanatly i am charge with a dui. since my prior conviction occured before the age of 18, would this new charge be considered as my second dui or first as an adult?
      any little information helps
      Dear Jerry: That depends on your state laws regarding DUIs. Since a DUI isn’t just a juvenile offense since it carries over into adulthood. So under your laws this may be your second. When you go to court you’ll find out how the judge considers this ticket, as a first or second offense. You could also check with a local criminal defense attorney and ask. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • jason m
      Tue, 08 Jun 2010 at 09:39

      hi judge. when i was 13 i was convicted of 1 felony (burglary) and 5 misdemeanors (vandelism) and at 16, minor in possession alcohol, all in nebraska. I am 33 now. can railroads look into my juvenile records? The job requires me to get a transportation safety adminisration license to work unatennded on rail lines and these charges do not disqualify me from getting it.
      Dear Jason: We’re not aware of railroads requesting juvenile records. However, if as a minor you were tried as an adult, that incident could show up on a records check. We suggest you contact the juvenile court you were in and ask for information about expunging your record. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Chris
      Wed, 09 Jun 2010 at 03:10

      Quick question. When I was 17 I was arrested with another guy who was a adult and charged with posseion with intent to distribute schedule II this happened in VA. The guy I was with didnt admit to the drugs being his at first, but he finally did admit to it. I was released to my father at the hearing. At the trial or whatever they called it there was a plea bargin and the case was took under advisement for a year and then they said that the record would be expunged. Anyhow I had my fingerprints checked and it still shows up in the system. However when I called the court where all of it took place it said the records had been destroyed. Do I need to release this info on my applications of employment I mean can the access my juvenile records? I was not charged as a adult.
      Dear Chris: First, read all questions on applications carefully. Language and specific words make a difference. For example, if you were in juvenile court, you weren’t “convicted” unless you were handled as an adult. If you completed a diversion program successfully, then you wouldn’t have a record. What happens at times is the court destroys its records but the police department involved doesn’t. That may be what showed up on your clearance check. Answer all questions truthfully but pay attention to what’s being asked. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Chris
      Wed, 09 Jun 2010 at 06:33

      Thanks so much for the answer. Let me ask you another question. Is there a way to get rid of the police department records or is there anything that can be done about that? Also its been 11 years ago.
      Dear Chris: Police departments have their own policies, some internal, others according to state laws. You’ll have to check with the one you were involved with about their practice regarding past records. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Dave
      Mon, 14 Jun 2010 at 07:18

      I have a question. I was 17 in indiana and spent the night at a friends house. My mom filed runaway charges against me. The state issued a warrant for my arrest. Since then I moved away and am now 21. Can those charges still creep up on me?? Thanks.
      Dear Dave: If the warrant was only for the runaway incident, then it’s history with nothing to worry about. “Runaway” is what’s called a status offense. That means the status of being a minor makes it an offense. Once you’re 18 and an adult you can’t be charged with runaway. It’s similar to a truancy or disobedience charge. All the best.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Tracy
      Sat, 19 Jun 2010 at 11:56

      My brother was 15 when he and many other boys were charged with a misdemeanor in Florida. Can anyone access this record? Even after he turns 18 will anyone still see this record? But reading some of the other topics, it is only sealed? But he can expunge this record after he turns 18 right? He is a good kid, but was just in the wrong place at the wrong time with kids who were older than him.
      Dear Tracy: Depending on your brother’s age, he may be able to get his record cleared now. Contact the court he was in and ask about expunging a juvenile record. They will give you the information and possibly the form he needs to file when the time comes to apply. Ordinarily juvenile records are sealed from the public and aren’t reported in criminal record checks after he turns 18. We’re glad he’s no longer in trouble.
      [This is information only - not legal advie].

    • Catherine Tierney
      Mon, 21 Jun 2010 at 06:04

      I just went to the clerks office to get a certified copy of my juvinile record. They gave me a certified letter that states the case has been destroyed, and therefore there are no copies. I was just released from a job because they said that I have a juvinile record, and for me to get a certified copy to be reconsidered for the position. I am not understanding how the job interviewer can see the record if it has been destroyed. I was never officially arrested or detained, but did go to teen court for delinquency.
      Dear Catherine: Ask the employer for their source of information. If your offense was handled through Teen Court, there shouldn’t be a public record of it. If a record does exist, you’ll want to apply for an expungement so this doesn’t happen in the future. You may be eligible for a court order clearing your record if you complied with all terms ordered when you were before the Teen Court. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Tracy
      Tue, 22 Jun 2010 at 04:56

      Hello again,
      Sorry, but my brother was recently cleared and the case is over, however my dad would like to expunge his records as early as possible, we have a lawyer and it will cost us quite a lot. He was 15 when charged and still is 15. Is it possible to expunge his records before he turns 18?
      Dear Tracy: That depends on your state’s laws about expunging a juvenile’s record. The courts have to follow the laws. He may have to wait a period of time since the offense happened – for example a year or until he’s 18. Check either with the court about filing for expungement. They may have a form that you can complete and file. In many states a lawyer is not needed to accomplish this. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Sharon
      Tue, 22 Jun 2010 at 09:30

      Hi.
      My daughter was supposed to show up for court. She missed it cause she had runaway from home. She was supposed to go to court that day so she can do her usual check up cause she was on probation. it was basically a contempt of court type of court. She’ll be turning 18 soon. Im wondering if the warrant will stick with her until she is 18 and after.?
      Dear Sharon: That depends on the nature of the charge that the warrant is based on. It could remain in the system after she turns 18. It would be best for her to take care of this before she turns 18. That way she’ll stay in the juvenile system and not be treated as an adult with adult consequences. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Kerie
      Sat, 26 Jun 2010 at 03:06

      I moved from Canada to the USA at the age of 16 with my family (I’m a Canadian Citizen). I moved on an L Visa. Later that year, I returned to Canada for a visit and was charged as a JUVENILE with aggravated assault. I was found guilty (as a juvenile). I will soon be sentenced, and then plan to return to the USA after.

      I’ve read that juvenile adjucations are not convictions for the purpose of immigration. I also read in the U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude that any offense committed between ones 15th and 18th birthday (unless a violent felony, where they were tried and convicted as an adult) will not render one inadmissible.

      Will I be able to return to the USA?
      Dear Kerie: It sounds like you know the distinctions between juvenile and adult court – terminology, etc. Since you are being processed in juvenile court you won’t have a “conviction” on your record. As far as travel restrictions and immigration, you shouldn’t have a problem returning to the U.S. especially if you’re traveling with a parent or legal guardian. Immigration law is a specialty of practice. If you’re unsure of your status, contact an immigration lawyer for a free consultation. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Bella
      Sat, 26 Jun 2010 at 08:03

      I am 13. Yesterday, my friend and I was caught shoplifting at Target, in the state of Washington. Its my first and last time shoplifting. We were both perfectly capable of paying for the merchandise. At the moment, we thought it was fun to try it out. She was experienced and taught me how. We were caught and the police was called. There is a line, $20. If the total value of the merchandise is above $20, you will go to court. If its under this limit, you will only need to pay for the value of the merchandise you attempted to steal. My friend’s total value was $18. Mine was $26. I am waiting for a notice to go to court. I am very remorseful and I just hope it doesnt go on my permanent record.-According to a local police officer, it will. I am just afraid that this one stupid act will impact the rest of my life. I now know how serious this could be. Im very willing to pay the fines. Im just afraid it will be on my permanent record. And can it be erased? When can it be erased? Is there a possibility I will go to juvy? How soon will the court date be? I am very worried. And I hope some advice can help calm my nerves. Thank you
      Dear Bella: First, calm down. This one incident will not ruin your life. Since this is your first offense and considering your age, you will likely be offered a diversion program. That means when you complete some community service, attend a class or pay restitution to the store, the case will be closed. Don’t miss your court date. The process will be explained to you once you’re there. After a period of time [maybe a year or so] you can apply to the court for an expungement of your record if you end up with one. Oftentimes diversion means just that – that your case was diverted away from the judicial system and there’s no criminal or juvenile record. So, relax and think about consequences the next time you’re tempted to break the law. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Joyce
      Sun, 27 Jun 2010 at 06:02

      I’m 17 years old and I live in Las Vegas, Nevada. My boyfriend took two pair of sunglasses from the mall and put them in my bag. I didn’t do the shoplifting but I know I’m still involved because I knew about it. What are the consequences for my boyfriend and what are the conquences for myself? And will it go away when we both turn 18?
      Dear Joyce: Since this is your first offense, as you stated in a second message, you can expect diversion when you go to court. That means when you complete some community service, pay a fine or restitution, and attend a class the case will be closed. You will have a chance to explain what happened as you did here. If you complete the diversion program, you shouldn’t have a record with the court. Ask about this when you get to court. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Matthew.O
      Sun, 27 Jun 2010 at 09:37

      He I Been Wondering Since I Was 18, I Always Wanted My License But My Tickets I Recieved When i Was Younger Is Holding Me BAck, I Owe 1,000 Dollars in Tickets. Im ABout To Turn 21 In A Few Months And I Was Wondering If I Should Pay Off My Tickets Or They Clear It When Im 21 I Dont Wanna Waste Money That i Could Use On my Child SInce This IS A Very Hard Time. And THis Is In California So If You Can Give ME Anything Let Me Know PLease. Cause My Dream is To Finally Have My License. Thank You
      Dear Matthew: It’s not likely the fine will just go away because you’re turning 21. In many states unpaid fines and resitution are converted to judgments against you which can be renewed year after year. In other words, they follow you throughout your life until they’re paid in full. This can seriously affect your credit and ability to move on with your life as you age. It’s best to get this paid off asap. You could call the court and ask what their policy is regarding unpaid fines after turning 21. Speak with a court or probation officer and you don’t have to identify yourself. You’re just asking for general information. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Rachel
      Mon, 28 Jun 2010 at 11:58

      When I was seventeen I received an MIP, I am now nineteen and it is off my record however this past weekend I got another MIP. I am majoring in Family Services and was wondering if that will affect the chances of me getting a job. Also, when i go to court will i be charged for the last MIP again? And will it now show that i have gotten two or will just this previous one be on my record? Thank You
      Dear Rachel: If your earlier Minor in Possession charge was handled through diversion and it’s off your record now, it shouldn’t be added to this new charge. Your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles may keep their own record of the incident, but it won’t be part of this court proceeding. Now that you’re an adult a record of alcohol-related offenses can affect job applications. Once you take care of this recent ticket, ask about expunging your record. You may have to wait a few years, however. When you go to court you can ask the court or probation officer you’ll meet with. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Hassan
      Mon, 05 Jul 2010 at 05:07

      Hi, I am a 15 year old male living in Ontario Canada, On august 20 2009 my life changed, me and my friend walked into a store, and got caught shoplifting except I did not shoplift but I was with him. The cops came and told us it was a warning, I know somewhere their is my name in the file but I want to know if it is a criminal record? I did not get my finger print taken, did not go to court, did not get charged and did not get convicted of a crime. I was hired for a full time job at the library and they require police clearance, I am scared to not be able to get the job because I don’t know weather it will show on the police clearance or not, can you please let me know if it will show or no
      Dear Hassan: Since you weren’t charged with anything and didn’t go to court, you don’t have a criminal record. The only record that may exist is with the police department. They may keep your information and a note about this incident for their own purposes in case you shoplift again. The warning you received was just that, notice that the next time things will be different and you could get a record that will affect your life. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Callie Thornton
      Thu, 08 Jul 2010 at 02:24

      In the state of Georgia in an adult proceeding TPR trial can your juvenile records be used against you. There was never a serious juvenile crime, just unruly but bootcamp and several detentions were put into the order. I thought that was confidential or wiped from your record since you were a child at the time.
      Thank you
      Callie
      Dear Callie: Ordinarily juvenile records are not used in adult trials. But that rule varies from state to state. It also depends on the nature of the charges and convictions in juvenile court. A juvenile history may not be relevant to adult charges but may be used during sentencing to enhance a possible sentence. You’ll need to check with your defense attorney or you can try Google by searching for “Georgia juvenile records.” You could also call the juvenile court you were in and ask about this. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Veronika
      Tue, 13 Jul 2010 at 11:53

      If I had a case expunged when I was a juvenile. Can this misdemeanor show up on a background check for testing purposes (NCLEX)??????
      Sorry I did not expunged the case but somehow it was taken off just the misdemeanor not my entire juvenile documents. Even though I was arrested, will it still show up on a through background?????
      Dear Veronika: Yes, it could show up on a records check depending on any orders issued by the court regarding your juvenile history. You could check with the juvenile court you were in and also the police department that was involved to see if a record exists. If a record does exist, ask about the process for clearing your record. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Jason
      Thu, 15 Jul 2010 at 07:42

      I’m a minor and I was wondering if there was any way I could look up my own record online, as well as traffic violations.
      Dear Jason: There’s no reason you can’t check online for your own record, if one exists. Because you are a minor there may not be anything especially if juvenile records in your state are sealed. In checking we recommend that you don’t give out your Social Security number. Usually your name and date of birth works. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Christopher
      Thu, 15 Jul 2010 at 07:13

      I am 33 years old. I live in Indiana. I am soon approaching a career change to the nursing profession, as I will be graduating in two weeks. I was recently informed that any and all offenses (including juvenile offenses) must be reported on job applications when applications ask if the applicant has ‘ever’ been convicted of a crime. I was arrested as a juvenile for a misdemeanor offense, and quite frankly forget the terminology used of whether I was ‘convicted’ or whatever. I have had absolutely no trouble with the law as an adult, other than a couple traffic violations. I have never checked I have been ‘convicted’ before on job applications. Must I? Are misdemeanor juvenile offenses available to employers, especially offenses plus ten years old? Thanks/Christopher
      Dear Chris: It’s unlikely you have anything to worry about. Juvenile offenses are generally not available to the public or employers, etc. Only if you were tried as an adult would such a record exist. Most likely you were “adjudicated” delinquent, not convicted. A “conviction” is a term applied to adult offenses. Good luck with your new endeavors.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Ronald
      Wed, 28 Jul 2010 at 03:44

      Hi. I am 16 yrs old. When I was 15, I got in trouble with the law. I was charged with petty theft(misdemeanor) and Burglary(felony). Joining the FBI has always been my dream. I plan in going to college, getting my PHD in computer science, and become fluent in Arabic, Spanish and ASL. Also I was going to become a pilot in the airforce after I get my bachelors in computer science. I haven’t gotten into any mishaps, and don’t plan on it. Do you think this stupid mistake will effect my chances of getting into the FBI. Also I went to teen court and had the case dismissed. This was my first and only crime I’ve commited
      Dear Ronald: If you went to Teen Court for these charges, then there’s no official record that you need to worry about. Teen Court is operated differently in every state. Check with the program you participated in and ask about the long-term effects of completing the program. If, in your state, there is an official record of this incident you may be eligible to apply for expungement of the record. The purpose of Teen Court is to give you a consequence while avoiding a record that will follow you around throughout your life. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • mike
      Thu, 29 Jul 2010 at 07:13

      how long do a juvenile felony stay on your recored in the state of CA? even if i had them exspunged?
      Dear Mike: Without specific information regarding your history and the nature of the felony, we cannot give you an exact answer. Take a look at the following government website that addresses juvenile records in California and how to clean them up. Good luck. http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp/other/crimlawclean.htm#juvrecs
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Allen
      Sun, 01 Aug 2010 at 01:26

      When I was 14 I was charged and convicted of PC 245(a)(1)/PC 17 and PC 422/PC 17. When I was 17 I was convicted of PC 243(d). According to WIC 707(b),PC 245(a)(1) cannot be sealed unless I was “OVER” the age of 14. If I was 14 will I still be able to seal this charge along with the others and/or will the fact that it is a wobbler help me any? Also if you could clarify exactly what it means to be OVER 14 whether that is after I turn 14 or after I turn 15. Thank you. P.S. All charges were in California
      Dear Allen: Usually courts interpret “over” as the next year and “under” as the previous year. So, over 14 would mean starting at 15. Regarding your convictions and sealing records, take a look at the following website for the specifics in California. You could also call your probation or parole officer and ask about this.
      http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp/other/crimlawclean.htm#juvrecs
      Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Matt
      Sun, 01 Aug 2010 at 05:30

      Hi. I was convicted of a felony as a minor in California. I was wondering if my record is sealed (or expunged) if I could have my 2nd Amendment rights restored to me. My father has recently passed away and has left me my grandfathers original WWII Colt 1911 handgun. My brother has it registered in his name for now until I can get things worked out. If not is there anyway at all I could have my civil rights restored?
      Dear Matt: You may be eligible for restoration of your rights depending on when the felony was convicted, how old you were at the time, your present age, and other statutory factors. Take a look at the website below for specific information regarding California laws and how to go about clearing your name. Good luck in your quest to possess your grandfather’s gun.
      http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp/other/crimlawclean.htm#juvrecs
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Kiwi
      Mon, 02 Aug 2010 at 09:08

      Hello I work at a company where we try to get young adults and adults jobs. Many of them come in with juvenille records; felony or misdemeanor. When they turn 18 do their records get automatically destroyed? Pennsylvania.
      Thanks.
      Dear Kiwi: Juvenile records are not automatically expunged or destroyed upon turning 18 or 21. Every state has its own laws regarding the destruction of records and eligibility for expungement. For Pennsylvania take a look at the following website for detailed information about the process. This Juvenile Law Center site includes a pamphlet you can download titled “Juvenile Records Expungment.”
      http://www.jlc.org/publications/expungeguide.pdf
      Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Jason
      Thu, 05 Aug 2010 at 05:47

      I was arrested when I was 15 for grand theft auto. I don’t recall what happened exactly; it was over 15 years ago. I’m not sure this was resolved in court, is this on my record as a conviction? Do i have an outstanding warrant? I’m attempting to join the military, what should I tell them?
      Dear Jason: You can’t tell them very much if you don’t remember the details. But whatever you don’t disclose will be discovered when they do a records check. So explain what happened and try to find out the details from the court you were in, your probation officer who may still be with the department, or the police department you were involved with. You could also check online by going to the court’s website – they may have records going back that far. Good luck and thanks for your service when you’re accepted.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Katherine
      Sun, 08 Aug 2010 at 11:40

      My best friend is on juvenile probation,and turns 18 soon.One parent isn’t allowed to be around her, and the other is the legal gaurdian.She is in a bad situation where she lives now, and her PO wont believe her and let her move out. If she violates probation and they put an arrest warrant out for her, when she turns 18 will it go away?
      Dear Katherine: That depends on the basis of the warrant and what she is on probation for. In some states the court or state can maintain jurisdiction over a juvenile even past age 18. Some youthful offenders remain in the system until age 19 , 20 or 21. She should either ask her lawyer, if she had one when she was placed on probation, or her PO or PO’s supervisor. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Michelle
      Thu, 12 Aug 2010 at 09:52

      Hi. When I was in the 8th grade (14yrs old) I was charged with Theft in the 3rd degree. I was put on a deferred program and given probation for the year I was on the program paid restitution and did all the community service and what not that was asked of me.
      During which my fingerprints were taken.
      I live in the State of Washington. I am now a month away from 21 have not been in trouble since and I was wondering if my fingerprints were dusted somewhere if there would still be able to pop up in the data base? They said my juvenile record would be sealed after the case was over and I was no longer in the juvenile category. But I wasn’t sure about fingerprints.
      Thanks.
      Dear Michelle: Every state has its own laws and rules about juvenile offenses and how they’re handled. Your fingerprints may be in the court’s database or on file with the police department involved with the incident. You’ll have to ask them directly. You may be able to apply for the expungement of your juvenile record. Take a look at this website for information about Washington’s juvenile court:
      http://www.courts.wa.gov/forms/index.cfm
      You can also Google “Washington juvenile records” for more details. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Avashua Garland
      Sat, 14 Aug 2010 at 11:47

      Hi my name is Avashua im a 19 year old cna and i have a juvenile record & i live in the state of florida & ive been trying to get my record sealed so i can work but everywhere i go they say that i cant get my record sealed because i was charged guilty is that true? && if so is there another way that i can get my juvenile record cleared? Its 5yrs old
      Dear Avashua: There are a few things you can do to get current and correct information about your juvenile record. You can call the court you were in and ask. You can call your probation officer or his/her supervisor, or you cab call your lawyer if you had one at the time. You can also take a look at the website below for information and forms. One additional resource is by Googling “Florida juvenile records.” Good luck.
      http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/content/getdoc/c83dd888-ef7a-448e-9a96-ba69fc4181f7/Seal-and-Expunge-Home.aspx

      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Garrett
      Mon, 16 Aug 2010 at 03:43

      I was wondering about an alleged involuntary commitment when I was 14 years old, I am now 22 can I have that removed from my records? Also are law enforcement officials allowed to go into those records if they are sealed? I say it is alleged because I’ve done a lot of research of what an involuntary commitment consist of and none of that happened to me.
      Dear Garrett: Most states have different rules and procedures regarding juveniles and the mental health process as opposed to adults. When you did your research into involuntary commitment, did you limit it to minors? If not, there may be information you haven’t seen yet. We suggest Googling the name of your state and “juvenile commitment process” and/or “juvenile records” rgarding your question about sealed records. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Kevin
      Wed, 18 Aug 2010 at 12:39

      hi, im 17 and late last year i was arrested and charged with a burglary (felony) and a few misdemeanors. i went into a diversion program but could not get anything expunged because of my felony, and now im applying to colleges and they ask “have you ever been charged with a felony” and i have, but after the diversion program, the case was dismissed or closed. i am wondering if the colleges can access my juvenile records, and i will be turning 18 i nnovember, so if they CAN access my records should i seal my juvenile records? because a lawyer told me that i could indeed go about gettin my record sealed, but i don’t know if that would make a difference. i just want to get into a good college and not have to deal with my juvenile mistake.Dear Kevin: There is a process in most states where you can apply to have your juvenile records sealed. Every state’s laws are different so you need to check the specifics of yours. Google the name of your state and the words “juvenile records” for details. You could also call the lawyer who represented you last year and ask. Colleges rarely run a juvenile records check. Plus you need to pay attention to the exact language in any application you complete. If you were in juvenile court, and not tried as an adult for these offenses, you weren’t “convicted” of a crime. Most states use other language such as “adjudicated responsible for a delinquent act.” Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Quinn
      Tue, 24 Aug 2010 at 05:31

      Hi when i was 16 years old I made a terrible mistake stealing from my father with my friends.At the time I was under the influence and out of my head.I told my dad I would give all his stuff back but he was so angry he charged me anyway.I served 2 years and now I have burglary/firearm on my record.They put firearm because we stole one of his military guns.Im 24 now and I want to go to the military like I planned to before I went to prison.I had passed the test and all.Can I seal burglary off my record?Im tired of it holding e from opportunitys.
      Dear Quinn: It is possible that you can either seal or expunge your juvenile record. If you’ve had no further incidents since you were released from prison, it will be easier. There are a few avenues you can take: contact the court you were in and ask about the process for expunging your record; contact your parole or probation officer if you had one and ask; Google the name of your state and “juvenile records.” You could also consult a criminal defense attorney in your area. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Dee
      Thu, 26 Aug 2010 at 10:41

      Hi
      I got A Felony Assault Charge at 14 years old in California. I petitioned to have my record sealed and was denied. I am now an adult, have a child, am married, I am a new person to be honest and the fact that this interferes with so many things now is disturbing me and I want to do every thing I can to get it away…

      Is there anything else I can do to get this to go away?
      Dear Dee: It depends on the reason you were denied. Under the law you may have to wait until you’re a certain age. For example, in Arizona, you can’t apply to have a felony expunged from your record until age 25 and then it’s not automatic. It’s up to the judge and the state has a right to agree or oppose your request. You could consult with a local criminal defense attorney who would know the steps to take and the applicable law. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Seph
      Fri, 27 Aug 2010 at 01:13

      Your Honor,

      As a Juvenille I was arrested for VUFA (possesion of a firearm without a liscense) and was given probation after being ajudicated. I was then re-arrested for Attempted Murder-It was a mistaken Identity-and was caught with another firearm. I am 20 Years of age and this happened between 14-16 Years of age. My questions is, I have an associates degree and I am currently working as a Social Worker and have not been in trouble with the Law since then. I just applied to be a Youth Advocate to deter teens from being in the posiiton I am in and got the job. But I feel srongly that this Juvenille record will inhibit me from doing so in the long run. Any advice?
      Dear Seph: As long as you continue to stay out of trouble and gain experience through your employment, your juvenile record should not prevent you from obtaining the jobs you want. However, you may want to consider getting your juvenile record destroyed or expunged so that you’ve done everything you can to put your past mistakes behind you. The laws vary from state to state concerning the destruction of juvenile records. You could try asking the clerk of the court how to begin the process to request the expungement of your record. For the specific laws in your state, you could try Googling your state’s name and “destruction or expungement of juvenile record”. We wish you the best of luck with your new job.
      [This is information only - not legal advice.]

    • jose minjarez
      Sun, 29 Aug 2010 at 01:46

      My question is as followed.When i was 17 years old in 1987 I was arrested and convicted of manslaughter in california.I am currently 40 years old have not gotten into any trouble ever since .Do I need to file to get my record sealed or does it disappear on its own?I have also read that at 38 it get eraced how true is that?
      Dear Jose: Askthejudge.info is an educational website for and about teenagers and the law. We don’t provide legal advice to adults or teens. We can suggest that you Google the name of your state and “juvenile records” for details about expunging a criminal record. It would also depend if you were convicted as an adult or juvenile. You could also contact your parole officer or the court you were in for the process on how to expunge a record. You’re correct, it isn’t automatic. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • jack hollins
      Tue, 31 Aug 2010 at 05:03

      hi, when i was 15 i was arrested for making a false public alarm and distirbing a school operation for making a stupid bomb threat as a prank. The incident was kept on the down low. I was not place in juvinile detention, but later i was put on house arrest while the court looked through my background. At the time i was suffering from severe depression. i was given probation, a curfew and given community service in the end. the record is automatically and currently sealed and im looking to get it esponged soon. My question is that i hope to enter law enforcement one day or politics. If politics, will the press have acess to these records? another question, if i go into law enforcement(fbi or intellegance work) will this effect my chances of getting in. I should note i am american born and have stayed out of trouble. I am a christian and I was a kid and made a bad mistake trying to get attention. Thanks for your time
      Dear Jack: Once you get your juvenile record expunged there should be nothing to worry about. As far as applying for a government job, just answer the questions truthfully and read them carefully. In most jurisdictions around the country, if you were in juvenile court you weren’t “convicted” of a crime, you were “adjudicated” responsible for a delinquent act. Words make a difference. If you were treated as an adult, then it’s a different story. The mistakes in your youth shouldn’t prevent you from pursuing your ambitions. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • jaycoy burns
      Tue, 31 Aug 2010 at 10:23

      i was arrested when for Burglary and Grand theft and i completed a diverion program in florida. im 18 now and tring to get a job but my applications are being flagged as a felon can i get those charges expunged?
      Dear Jaycoy: If you successfully completed diversion, then there should not be any conviction on your record. You could try contacting the clerk of the court where the charges were filed and ask for a copy of your record to see exactly what your record shows. Then you could also ask how to go about getting your record destroyed or expunged. Every state has its own laws concerning the destruction or expungement of records. To find the specific laws in your state, try Googling “Florida destruction or expungement of juvenile record”. If you were charged as an adult, then search for “criminal record” rather than juvenile. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice.]

    • dina
      Wed, 01 Sep 2010 at 05:23

      I was wondering if I could go to juvy if i didnt complete my community service over a disorderly conduct charge in school by defending myself in Febuary . Im 16 year old and is 7 months pregnant I also live in Pennsylvania . They recommend me to do community service but I havent had time to get to it because of being at high risk and having to go to my doctor appointments for the baby.I was wondering if you dont complete it would it be on my record or if anything else could happen this is my first time ever that got community service and im curious on what can happen.
      Dear Dina: Since this was your first offense, it is very unlikely that you would be sent to juvenile detention for failing to complete your community service. If you have a court date coming up to explain why you haven’t completed your hours, bring any paperwork with you to show the judge that you’ve had a number of doctor appointments. The judge may give you additional time to complete the community service. If you were offered a diversion program which would mean the charges would be dismissed upon completion of the community work hours, the charges may not be dismissed and the offense will remain on your record if you don’t complete the hours. Talk to the court and/or your probation officer about your schedule and needs during pregnancy and chances are, they will work with you to help you complete your sentence. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice.]

    • drew
      Wed, 01 Sep 2010 at 12:01

      Hey there. Great website! so I am appying to work for certain airlines and I want to absolutly make sure that everything I answer on the application and interview is accurate. BC if any discrepancies will result in immediate termination and will be difficult to find work in the future. So when I was 16 it was +10 yrs ago. I was caught for shoplifting. The police showed up and I was arrested. I was told by the police to come to the police station with my dad the next day. I did that and had an agreement with the officer to do community service and an educational class. In exchange for not going to court. That was the end of it. So no court. I did a check on myself with the FBI and the local court and no record. I did however check with the police and they have some sort of record although not able to disclose with me. some of the questions that I come across “Have you ever been convicted of a crime, other than a traffic offense?” or “Have you ever served probation, pretrial diversion or deferred adjudication for any criminal offense?” or “have you been arrested?” during an interview. I want to be as honest as possible so any help would be appreciated. It also happened in CA if that helps.
      Dear Drew. From what you’ve described it doesn’t sound like you have anything to worry about as far as an official court record. Since you didn’t go to court or appear before a judge, there’s no record of this incident except possibly with the police department. Language on any applications you complete is very important. Read them carefully so you can answer truthfully. For example, if asked if you’ve ever been “convicted” of a crime, you can answer “no” based on what you’ve described. As a minor, unless you went to adult court, you weren’t convicted. You would have been “adjudicated responsible” for an offense as a minor. As far as being arrested, if that’s what the police record indicates then your answer would be yes, but explain it if given the chance. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • drew
      Wed, 01 Sep 2010 at 01:22

      what about this question “Have you ever served probation, pretrial diversion or deferred adjudication for any criminal offense?” I didnt appear in front of a judge so would this apply to me? For the story above. Once again thanks so much. Great help!
      Dear Drew: If nothing is showing up through the FBI background check or through your local court records, you most likely have nothing to worry about and can answer “no” to having gone through diversion or deferred adjudication. However, to be on the safe side, you could contact the police department again and explain why you’re contacting them and that you need to make sure that you did not complete diversion or deferred adjudication and that it is not showing on your record as such with the department. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice.]

    • Kevin
      Thu, 02 Sep 2010 at 10:21

      Judge, I’m starting up a business in NC and I am applying to accept Food stamps at my store. One of the questions on the form asks if I’ve ever been convicted of a crime involving fraud etc. Well I have 18 years ago when I was 16. I was in a stolen car with a couple of friends. I was arrested, got bailed out and that was it.No trouble with the law after that. Now How can I find out if I have a record?
      Dear Kevin: If you were charged with a crime and went to court then you may have a record. Check with the court you were in to see the status of your record. You may be eligible to apply for its expungement. From what you’ve stated, however, it doesn’t sound like you were charged if you never went to court after being bailed out of jail. Read the language on any application carefully because the words are important. For example, if you were in juvenile court you probably weren’t officially “convicted.” That’s a term usually used in adult court. You can also check your own record by going to your local police department who will run a check on you, possibly for a fee. Good luck with the new business.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Karl
      Tue, 07 Sep 2010 at 06:47

      Your Honor,
      I am applying to college right now and i was charged with underage possession of alcohol at 15 and 16(2 Times). My college application says to state ANY arrests(misdemeanor or felony), but i am 19 now and im not sure if they are able to access this information from my idiotic youth. What should i do in this situation
      Dear Karl: Good question. You’ve started by reading the question on the application closely which is the wise approach to filling out any applications. You must be truthful in answering all questions. If you weren’t actually put under “arrest” but just questioned at the scene or given a ticket, you can answer “no.” You might also check with the court you were in and apply for an expungement of your juvenile record. You might be able to do this online if the court provides such a service. Most colleges and universities don’t run criminal or juvenile background checks. Good luck in your educational pursuits.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • ryan karas
      Wed, 08 Sep 2010 at 05:56

      I am on probation and i am being charged with 2 counts of 3rd degree burglary 2 counts of 3rd degree theft and 1 count of criminal mischief. i am on probation for a fight.My probation consists of going to the office every 2 months and i have no other past records. Should i be expecting jail time since i know i am going to be convicted of all the crimes?
      Dear Ryan: Whether you are facing jail or prison time depends on a number of factors including your state’s laws, the circumstances of the offense for which you have been charged, your criminal history and whether you’ve been compliant with all the terms of your probation up to this point. You should be appointed a public defender if you have not retained private counsel. Talk this over with your attorney since he/she will be able to provide more information about the possible consequences you face. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice.]

    • Jennifer
      Thu, 09 Sep 2010 at 01:11

      I was 16 when I got into 2 fights as a juvenile. The cops came and gave me a fine and i received 40 hours of community service. I hadn’t heard of any of this being a problem when doing foster care, being a daycare supervisor, all of which required a background check. I just moved to north carolina and applied for a substitute teaching position and now these juvenile charges that I plead guilty for but never went before a judge or anything for are keeping me from thsi job. what can I do? and how is this possible?
      Dear Jennifer: Evidently a record of both or one of the fights is entered into a database available to others doing a background check. A positive or negative hit depends on the agency conducting the search and the language used in the applications you file. You said you never saw a judge, but if you admitted the incidents to a probation officer and then completed diversion [the work hours] he or she made note of it on an official record. You might want to contact the court and ask about clearing your record. You might be able to do this online at the court’s website. You could also contact the probation officer and ask about expunging your record. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Cameron
      Thu, 09 Sep 2010 at 05:19

      I recieved a citation as a juvenile for drug paraphenalia. It was not mine and the judge refered to it as a diversion case where i was supposed to do 40 hours of community service and a few classes and my record would be exponged seeing as it was my first offense. Before that charge went to court i recieved another charge for my friends pipe in which i was not charged with at the scene and an empty baggy. My friend never received anything in the mail about his charges.I was charged with simple possession for the baggy and paraphenalia for his pipe. I turned 18 last month and would really like to know what to expect this Monday in court…Please help…
      Dear Cameron: It’s a possibility you’ll be offered diversion again since this is your first offense as an adult and the charges are considered minor. You could also be placed on probation this time due to your juvenile record, even though it’s been expunged. You’ll meet with a court or probation officer when you go on Monday who will explain the process to you. If you do receive a probation sentence, after a reasonable period of time you can apply to have the record destroyed so as not to affect the rest of your life. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Heather
      Sun, 12 Sep 2010 at 01:30

      Hi, my name is Heather and I was wondering if I was charged with a crime (felony) and had a fine as a juv. if there was anything I could do to get the fine reduced? I havent commited this crime but I am asking for a very close friend. He is 21 now and was 16 when he did the crime. the fine is $10,000
      Dear Heather: He will need to contact his lawyer that represented him when he was 16. He could also contact the court and ask how to go about requesting a modification of the penalty. Because so much time has passed since the fine was imposed, if he’s totally ignored it and paid nothing, his chances of obtaining a reduction of the amount are not good. If fact, the amount may be greater than the original $10,000 if the law allows for interest and penalties when unpaid. This could also affect his credit now and in the future. In many states unpaid fines and court ordered restitution are reported to credit agencies as outstanding judgments. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Kim
      Thu, 16 Sep 2010 at 01:15

      When I was 16 I got in trouble for shoplifting and they sat me down in the security room, questioned me, had the police question me and also took my picture, and I was then released. Afterwards, I had to go down to the Juvenile Courthouse and sign some papers stating that I was guilty of the wrongdoing, did a shoplifting class, but I never had to pay a fine nor had to go to court, and was never fingerprinted. They gave me a consent decree stating that if I did everything I’m suppose to, that my record would be cleared/clean. I then did everything I was suppose to and they told me that my record is clean and that i’m good to go. Well, I was wondering if this misdemeanor would show up on a FBI background check for the military? The person that was in charge of my consent decree told me to answer NO to the security questions on the military applications that asked “were you ever convicted of a crime?” and any other questions in that category, because I was (supposedly) never found guilty of any wrongdoing, thanks to my consent decree. I’m afraid that my record is NOT clean and that if the military found out about the misdemeanor, I would have to face the consequences for lying due to what that person in charge of the consent decree told me mark on my application. Also, when applying for a job, would I have to answer YES to the question “have you ever been convicted of a crime?” or any other question of that sort?
      Dear Kim: You are not lying by answering “no” to the question about being “convicted.” If you participated in a diversion program through the juvenile court and the case was closed, then you have not been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony. The language differs between adult criminal proceedings and juvenile adjudication hearings. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • TL
      Fri, 17 Sep 2010 at 02:12

      When I was 14 I got in trouble with the law. The details are sensitive, but I am willing to disclose. The offense did get me a felony, and im wondering since its been 10 years since then if id ever be qualified for expunge. I just wondering because i have tried to sign up for the military in the past and i keep thinking about this incident. it grown to haunt me and i just want to move on be it military or whatever. 10 years is a long time and while i was in the group home the man that designed the program essentially told us that it will be expunged 8 years after probation. its been 7 years since probation was up, and my mother still owes money to the county for me being in juvenile hall. what do you think…?
      Dear TL: You could try contacting the court and ask how to go about beginning the process to get your record expunged or destroyed. Every state has its own laws on this matter, but since it’s been 10 years and you’ve been an adult for several years, there’s a good chance that you can apply for expungement now. However, if money is still owed, that may need to be taken care of before the court will consider an expungement. The court where the charges were filed should be able to provide more information about the expungement process. You could also try Googling your state’s name and “expungement or destruction of juvenile record” for more information about the requirements in your state. Best of luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice.]

    • Chris
      Mon, 20 Sep 2010 at 03:03

      Hey I got a ticket when I was 17 and i never paid for it but I did show up for court what would happen now that I’m 18 is it a warrant now?
      Dear Chris: Depending on the policies of the court, it could be an unpaid fine that has turned into a judgment against you. The laws of your state apply to unpaid fines and restitution to victims. Many states allow judgments to be entered which eventually are reported to credit agencies. You might think about paying it off in order to avoid future headaches. It’s not likely there’s a warrant out for your arrest since you appeared at court. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • DEBBIE WHITING
      Wed, 22 Sep 2010 at 01:09

      my son was charged as a juvinile with first degree rape charges. it was concential sex between to teenagers. her parent filed the charges. he served 2 years in a state pen. a few years after his release he was charged with selling a dime bag of marajauna to one of his coworkers. they are now holding his juvinile against him, and offering him 10 years. he has moved on in life, has a great job that he has held for sometime now, buying his first home, and engagded to be married. there has to be a light at the end of his tunnel. something has to be done about these juvinile sex crimes. can you help my son. his life is being destroyed
      Dear Ms. Whiting: Askthejudge.info is an educational website for and about teenagers and the law. As such, we don’t provide legal advice to anyone, adult or teen. Since he is facing a possible ten years in prison, he needs to speak with his attorney about his juvenile record and its effect on the current drug charges. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Josh
      Tue, 28 Sep 2010 at 06:52

      Hi, My name’s Josh. When I was twelve I and my brother were arrested and charged with commercial burglery, criminal mischief, and theft of property. I have only had one ticket since then and it was a traffic ticket which is paid and I have no other law violations. I am trying to pursue a career law enforcement and will turn twenty-one in two months. Do you think it is a possibility that I will be able to get this off of my record? I still live in the same city where I was arrested.
      Dear Josh: You should be able to clear your juvenile record especially if these were the only incidents since you were twelve, and the traffic ticket. Contact the court that you were in and ask how you go about filing a petition to expunge your records. You might also be able to check on the court’s website if they have one and most do. You could also Google the name of your state and the words “expungement of juvenile record” for more details. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • brandy
      Thu, 30 Sep 2010 at 10:54

      i got in some trouble about a year ago with some of my friends and my sister was put on probation the judge gave her 1 year probation and said that we wernt alowed to have any contact with each other is that possibleand is thier any way to work around it?
      Dear Brandy: It is possible for a judge to limit a person’s contact with someone else, even a sibling. There is no way around it, as you say, unless the judge changes his or her mind and authorizes contact. The judge can consider supervised contact in certain cases. Your parents can try writing to the judge or go through a lawyer to ask for a lifting of the ban. Remember, though, if you violate the court’s order you could be charged with contempt of court. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Susan
      Thu, 07 Oct 2010 at 04:44

      My son was arrested a year ago when he was 17 for having a pot pipe in his pocket. He had 2 friends in the car that were both 18. They were both charged with possession of marijuana and went to court. We never heard anything for my son. The police officer told me we would hear from the juvenile courts soon but we never did. That was a year ago. So does my son have a criminal record? I am afraid to call and ask questions out of fear of causing trouble for my son that otherwise might not happen. My husband and I are getting ready to adopt a child and really need to know.
      Dear Susan: You state that your son was charged and went to court. Whether a record exists depends on what happened when he appeared at court last year. He wouldn’t have a conviction on his record unless he plead guilty to the charge or was found guilty following a trial. If he successfully participated in a diversion program there shouldn’t be a record because that’s the purpose of “diversion”. You could contact the court and ask about filing a motion to destroy or expunge his record. They will check their computer system and tell you if there’s anything there to clear. Good luck, and with the adoption proceedings.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • John P.
      Fri, 08 Oct 2010 at 03:20

      Hello, my name is John. I had a question regarding my juvenile record here in Texas. When I was 16 I got in trouble for being with people who did burglaries, i tried to leave the scene as i figured out what they were doing, a cop happened to be right around the corner so nonetheless i had to go to court. I testified against them and mainly there mother that had gotten them to do these things for her meth addiciton. Id hang with the daughter at her house because i liked her but before i knew what kind of situation was to hit me, it was already to late. So i only had received 3 days in juvenile jail when it happened and then my lawyer and i went to court and i received deferred adjudication. My point is i applied to a Texas state prison job as correctional officer i did not disclose the 2nd degree burglary of a habitation on my juvenile record, because iv never had a problem with other jobs ever seeing it. I know i need to get it sealed i just dont have the money right now. Anyways so i applied to state prison and did not disclose it because it stated on the app and stuff that you did not have to disclose the juvenile record. So two weeks after the process of filling out all the info and stuff for the recruiter they send me a form requesting two dispositions on the 2nd degree burglary of a habitations that were deferred adjudication. I am just hoping once i get this (it takes a little longer getting dispositions on juvenile record it seems than adult record) done hopefully they will see through this and give me a chance to work in the prison. I had nothing on my adult record and its been 7 years from my juvenile incident. Any info would be appreciated. Any negative advice is not necessary, only positive info. Thanks. Also if i did get my record sealed im sure the state would see them still? Especially if i were to apply for anything federal, im sure they would be able to see it even if it was sealed?
      Dear John: You might want to look into having your juvenile record destoyed or expunged. Take a look at this website for the details about doing this and whether you’re eligible.
      http://www.tyc.state.tx.us/programs/parentguide_records.html
      You could also ask the court where you file your petition if they will waive the filing fee. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • drew
      Mon, 11 Oct 2010 at 10:26

      hi there, when i was a juvenile years ago i got in trouble for shoplifting. went to the police station with my parents the next day spoke to the juvenile probation offier and as a result had to do some community service and an edu class in exchange for not going to court. that was the end of it. no record. I got a question on an app and was wondering if i have to answer yes? ever served pretrial diversion for any criminal offense?
      Dear Drew: You have to pay close attention over the language in job or school applications. The bottom line is to tell the truth. If the application asks for diversion programs that you’ve participated in, you should explain what happened and that you completed the program successfully. If you choose not to answer the question, they’ll wonder why or ask for further explanation. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Gabriel
      Tue, 12 Oct 2010 at 11:32

      hello …i am 19 years old and i got in trouble i was charged with shoplifting I was arrested so i want to know if i can erase mi record ,im from Nebraska…thanks–
      Dear Gabriel: After a certain point you may be able to have your record destroyed or expunged. It depends on the outcome of the shoplifting charge. If you successfully complete a diversion program you won’t have an official record. If you’re placed on probation by the court then you’ll have a record that you can seek to clear in the future. Ask about this when you go to court. You can also Google “Nebraska expungement of records” for more details. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • matthew
      Tue, 19 Oct 2010 at 12:28

      My name is matthew and I’m 21 years old and I got put on probation in march yes I did get more charges while I’ve been on probation but didn’t getcharged with violitang it now I’m grown up and have a kid on tha way and I’ve lost 3 jobs because I have to report to her once a week and a good job will not work around the probation that I have received so the common wealth will not aprrove of letting me just do monthly visits instead of weekly when my p.o don’t even drug test me I’ve been drug tested 3 times since march
      Dear Matthew: Assuming your drug tests were clean, explain the situation to your PO and see if she’ll work with you regarding the visits. Maybe they can be done late in the afternoon when you get off work or early in the morning. You could also try to squeeze them in over your lunch break if it’s long enough. Usually, after several months of successful weekly visits they are reduced to biweekly and then monthly. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • trevor
      Thu, 21 Oct 2010 at 09:13

      hi my name is trevor, and I got a shoplifting charge at K*mart. my friend brittany stole a iphone charger and she blamed it all on me because she is on felony 2 probation… and I recieved a letter in the mail saying that I have to pay 50 dollars in 30 days or the charges will still be taken place.. well i paid it and kmart said they cant drop the charges… well i paid 50 dollars for something that I didnt even do, and “brittany” made up false idenification so its going to be impossible for the poilce to find her.. I cant let my parents find out about this either.. I am trying to get into a good college and I am not going to appear at court because my father has to work and he cant miss work. so therefor i have to be absent from the appealing in court… I am going to have a bench warrant but will it get expunged when I am 18? i need some anwsers i am stressed to the highiest level.
      thanks!
      Dear Trevor: You have a lot going on and should be concerned. You don’t have to take the fall for your friend. It may affect your future. You should seriously consider telling your parents about this so they can help you out. They can contact the court and request a continuance of the hearing so they can attend. When you go, you’ll meet with a court officer [probation officer] who will explain the process to you and your parents. If you had no part in taking the charger and did nothing to assist your friend, why would you want this on your record? Tell the truth and everything should work out for you. If you had a part in this and admit it, you may be offered diversion. That means when you complete some community service, pay a fine or attend a class, the case will be closed. If you end up with a record you can apply to have it expunged after a period of time. Ask the probation officer about clearing your record. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • John
      Sat, 23 Oct 2010 at 05:47

      Judge,
      When I was 12 or 13 I was convicted in juvenile court for Breaking and entering and larceny. Very serious crimes that I am agonizingly ashamed of. The public defender I spoke with at the time told me that I would never have to say I was convicted of a crime after I turned 18 as long as I followed through with the probation terms. Being so young and naive, not realizing the seriousness of my crimes I didn’t follow through with the probation terms, etc. Basically blew the whole issue off. I have never committed another crime. I am now 42 years old with a family. Here is my question, I joined the Navy when I was 19. I told the recruiters at the time of my record and they basically said one didn’t exist. I know for a fact one did. In any event, I joined and served honorably for 9 years during which I received several “Secret” security clearances at different commands. After separating the service I moved to Florida and at one point obtained a concealed weapons license (after submitting finger prints). No employers have ever flagged me for criminal records hits, etc. Now I am attempting government employment requiring a security clearance and will be given a SF86 form that asks if “I have EVER been charged with a felony”. Have I?? How have I had security clearances in the military with the records I know exist somewhere? The state I committed the offenses in as a child is Massachusetts. Have I been charged with a felony or not? Can’t the government access even sealed files? Thanks in advance.
      Dear John: We can’t tell you if you were convicted of a felony or not. That depends on the law at the time you were a teen and the exact charges filed against you. If your case was handled in juvenile court, you weren’t “convicted” of a crime. The legal term used for juveniles is “adjudicated.” Answering questions on applications requires reading the questions carefully and paying close attention to the words used. Your past clearances were probably due to nothing showing up on a records check. That is not uncommon in juvenile cases. Your record may be sealed but that doesn’t always exclude courts and law enforcement from seeing them. There’s also a good chance your records have been destroyed due to the passage of time.

      We suggest several things: contact the court you were in and ask about expunging your juvenile record if one exists – they’ll check for you. If there is still a record, ask how you go about having it expunged (erased) Most courts today are online with standard forms, documents, etc. You may be able to complete the form, print it out and file it with the court. If you were represented by the public defender, call them and ask about clearing your record. You can also look at this site for more information and/or contact the state law library department on this site for information. http://www.lawlib.state.ma.us/subject/about/cori.html
      Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • natalia
      Wed, 27 Oct 2010 at 12:21

      Hello I’m 16 will be 17 n December. I found a work online job that turned out to be a scam I opened a bank account in a lady my mom works for name. When she found out she pressed charges… they checks the company deposited totaling almost 7k. Almost all bounced were going to speak to a lawyer tommoro.w I know what I did was bad I should have just asked first. Can you tell me if I’m looking at time or probation and will this still be on my record when I turn 18…..
      Dear Natalia: If this is your first offense you may receive probation with specific terms you’ll have to follow. That may include a fine, counseling, community service, etc. It’s up to the judge to decide the penalty. It is possible, depending on the seriousness of the offense, that you could be given some time in juvenile detention. Again, it’s up to the court. Talk this over with the attorney tomorrow. You could also be placed in a diversion program that will be explained to you. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Nicole
      Wed, 27 Oct 2010 at 07:06

      I am currently in medical school (age 24). Between the ages of 15-18 I got in trouble with the police several times for underage drinking (5 minor consumptions & 1 drug paraphenlia) and when I was 17 I got charged as an adult for a DWI. My school asked about criminal record and I had to disclose the DWI but not the juvenille records because I was adjudicated. However, I am concerned about being licensed in 4 years. When the licensing occurs do I have to report all of the juvenille offenses? The question states “have you ever been convicted of a misdeamenor or felony?” Do you think my juvenille misdeamenors will have a negative outcome on applying for a license? Also for MN it states that records are destroyed at age 28 which is when I will be applying for my license, do I have to include the records if they are “destroyed” or will there still be some type of record of the incidents. Thank you for the advice.
      Dear Nicole: You were never “convicted” of any of the offenses in juvenile court since you would have been “adjudicated.” However, the DWI from adult court would be considered a conviction if you were found guilty or pled guilty to the offense. As long as the licensing process does not ask for your juvenile records and only asks about “convictions”, then you do not need to report the juvenile acts. Perhaps you could try contacting your state’s licensing board to find out more information about the criminal background check that will be conducted and whether they look at juvenile records. Most employers are concerned about adult records and juvenile records are not supposed to be used against you. You will also want to contact the court where the charges were filed and ask about the expungement/destruction process. Every state differs on this and you probably don’t want to assume that your juvenile record will be cleared once you’re 28. Best of luck with school.
      [This is information only - not legal advice.]

    • Scott
      Wed, 03 Nov 2010 at 01:34

      Dear judge,

      When I was about 12 or 13 I went to a Juvenal court hearing where I was convicted for writing a false report a bomb threat. It was a very serious offense and I agonize about my terrible decision that I made as a child almost everyday and I often wonder if I have ruined my life because of it. I am now 24 and will be graduating college in two semesters getting my BS in psychology and I would like to go to grad school afterwards but I do not know if I can be employed in a clinical setting with my Juvenal record. Is it at all possible for me to get my record expunged? Aside from having a few speeding tickets I have not had any problems with the law. The place where the crime took place was in Michigan and I currently live in Michigan.
      Thank you in advance,

      Scott
      Dear Scott: Yes, depending on your state’s laws, it should be possible for you to get your juvenile record destroyed or expunged especially since you’ve stayed out of trouble for the past 10 or so years. Every state has its own laws concerning destruction/expungement of a juvenile record and when you can apply, etc. Try calling the court where the charges were filed against you and explain your situation and ask what you need to do to begin the process to get your record expunged. The clerk should be able to answer your questions and guide you in the right direction. Good luck in school and with your future endeavors.
      [This is information only - not legal advice.]

    • David
      Wed, 03 Nov 2010 at 03:31

      Dear judge, I was adjudicated at 16 years of age for 3rd degree burglary. I am now 29 and already served eight years in the army. Soon I will graduate with a ba in law enforcement. Please help me with my confusion. I am currently working a security job after I was fingerprinted and full FBI backround check was done. No records were found. I applied for my permit to carry a firearm and my record was found. The permit to carry approval was denied. What can I do to restore my rights for a permit to carry and get accepted in law enforcement? This is my only record I have. It appears there may be a glitch in the State database, because federal agencies do not have my record on file.
      Dear David: Glitches do happen because of the human factor involved with uploading records into databases and eventually removing them. The best way to clear this up is to file a motion to expunge your juvenile record with the court you were in when you were 16. Try going online to the court’s web site. Some have forms available online that you can complete and file. You might also Google the name of the state and “juvenile record expungement” for details. Good luck.
      [This is informatioin noly - not legal advice].

    • Lina
      Wed, 03 Nov 2010 at 04:38

      Hello, I’m from the county of Los Angeles and in highschool (15 yrs old), my classmates and I were charged with petty theft (charge 484PC count1 theft).

      Since then, I have sealed my juvenile record (3 yrs ago) and as far as I know a sealed record gets destroyed after 5 years. Now I am applying to law schools and this is a direct quote of a question I must answer,

      “Have you ever been, as an adult or juvenile, cited, arrested or taken into custody, charged with, indicted, convicted, tried for or pleaded guilty to, the commission of any felony or misdemeanor or violation of any law,except minor traffic or parking violations, or been the subject of any juvenile delinquency or youthful offender proceedings?
      Please note that although a conviction may have been expunged from the records by an order of the court, it nevertheless should be disclosed in the answer to this question.”

      So I guess I have 2 questions

      1 – what’s the difference between a destroyed and an expunged record. They mean the same thing – to erase or eliminate.

      2 – Is there any way that the state bar of california can find out about my “destroyed” juvenile record if I do not disclose it???? Because of glitches in any system, it’s possible your record is sealed and hasn’t been expunged or destroyed (whatever term the court you were in uses). Because the question is so specific, including the use of the terms “juvenile delinquency,” the question calls for disclosure of youthful offenses even though handled in juvenile court. There is no wiggle room here to exclude your history. Explain what happened and the outcome. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Lina
      Wed, 03 Nov 2010 at 02:18

      Thank you for your prompt reply. I appreciate it more than words can express. I will definitely be disclosing in that case. I rather be safe than sorry.
      Just out of curiousity though, are you saying that unless there’s some sort of glitch the the ca state bar wouldn’t be able to see that you’ve expunged something? I know private companies can’t… but doesn’t the government have special privileges in being able to see stuff like that??
      Dear Lina: The laws of every state differ regarding record-keeping. There are also federal laws and requirements that come into play. Certain crimes have special provisions attached to them as far as the destruction of records and time periods. You can find out more about your state’s requirements by Googling the name of the state and “juvenile records expungement.” Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • David
      Wed, 03 Nov 2010 at 05:41

      Thank you judge for such a quick response. I went to the court where I was adjudicated when I was 16 years old. I recieved the application to expunge my record. The court said I do not have a record on file because it was so long ago and it was already destroyed. I also spoke to a deputy sheriff about my situation and he said if I still expunge my record, the Law enforcement agency I’m applying for will still trace the record of expungement. This his been a nightmare now for one thing I committed when I was young and dumb.I was also wondering if I expunge my record,will it restore my right to get a license to carry a firearm for my job in Minnesota. I applied for in a different county before, and I was still denied.Your help will be much appreciated.
      Dear David: Even if an agency discovers a record of expungement, the time that has passed since this incident when you were a teenager, is in your favor. As far as your rights, take a look at this site for information regarding the restoration of civil rights: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=609.165 This is the Minnesota law about restoration. You can contact a Minnesota state court for details about filing a request for restoration – there may be an online form you can print out and file. Good luck..
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • cordario
      Wed, 03 Nov 2010 at 09:27

      When i was 15 years old, im 23 now i was arrested for sale of marajiana on school ground,when i was a freshman in highschool hanging with the wrong crowd . I completed probation without any failed drug test i never touched marajuana again and i also completed the 4month residental program and i worked my way back into school and graduated on time. And that was the only trouble i was in as a juvenile , and the only trouble i have gotten in was a disturbin the peace when i was 19 and thats all i have on my record…….im wanting my juvenile record desroyed so i can join the army to make a better life for my myself …..is there any chance of me getting my juvenile record destroyed?
      Dear Cordario: Yes, you may be eligible to apply for a destruction or expungement of your juvenile record. Contact the court you were in and ask about how you go about doing this. They may have an online form you can print out and file with the court. You could also Google the name of your state and the words “expungement of juvenile record.” Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • John
      Sun, 07 Nov 2010 at 08:00

      I Stole $30 headphones from the Apple Store, later on I left the store and the security guards grabbed me. They put me in my back of the store, they said I was banned from all Apple Stores of the United States. They took me in for fingerprinting and my dad picked me up to go home. I want to ask since this is my first offense what is the worst they could do or charge me with in court? I live in Virginia, if that could help a little.

      I know that I can never do this again, it was embarrassing and made my parents upset. It’s hurt me for life now that I’ve done something so wrong. It was stupid and I know I’ll never do it again.
      Dear John: First, it’s possible that the store will send you a civil demand letter asking for payment of a civil fine. If you pay the fee, that may be the end of the matter. If the store chooses to press charges, then you will receive a notice in the mail to appear in court. Since this is your first offense, it is likely that you would be offered a diversion program. This means that upon successful completion of the program, the charges would be dismissed and you would not have a criminal record. It sounds like you learned from this incident and won’t be repeating this mistake. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice.]

    • David
      Wed, 10 Nov 2010 at 07:04

      Thank you judge for your help. This information will really help me proceed into my career after college into law enforcement.
      Dear David: You’re welcome. All the best.
      [This is information only - not legal advice.]

    • Greg
      Wed, 10 Nov 2010 at 06:04

      Hi, I am 17 and from Kansas and I’m worried that if I get a felony it will stay on my record when I turn 18 or will it go away?
      Dear Greg: You’ll have to check the law in Kansas to see how long a felony stays on your record. Usually after a period of time or until you reach a certain age (19 or 21, for example) you can apply for a clear record. Google “Kansas juvenile record expungement” for the details. Normally, felonies don’t automatically go away. You need to take action to be granted an expungement. If you’re on probation, ask your PO about this – he or she should be able to tell you how to go about obtaining a clear record. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Anonymous
      Wed, 10 Nov 2010 at 06:24

      when i was 16 years old , i was charged with couple of case in gang affiliation. i was convicted with 2 felonies 1 for witness intimidation and 1 for battery. they both dropped to misdemenors i think*. I was to do a certain amount of community service hours and 1 year probation. i finished early of 8 months and did well in high school after that incident. Im 19 now and going to college , i want to get my A.A in adminstration of justice and work in law enforcement. hopefully street police officier for 3 years than apply for S.W.A.T
      this occured in the state of california , city san francisco.
      im 19 now and i have a clean record driving record also
      is there any chance that i can still work in law enforcement?
      Look into clearing your juvenile record before applying for anything further. You can contact your probation officer or the court you were in and ask about expunging your record. You may be eligible now or you may have to wait a period of time depending on your state’s laws. You can Google “California juvenile expungement” for details. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • john
      Sat, 13 Nov 2010 at 09:19

      I was given a curfew ticket a couple months back, me and my friends were out smoking pot when a cop came up. Anyways we were released to our parents and given a court date. I went and paid the fines and now I’m 18. My question is, will this ticket be erased and Do I have to mention in all of my applications?
      Dear John: Since your curfew ticket was handled in juvenile court, you do not have any prior “convictions” and can truthfully answer no to this question on any job/school applications. However, it’s important that you read the language on any application very carefully, so you can provide an honest answer. Every state handles juvenile records differently and some records are “sealed” once a person turns 18. This does not mean though that the record is forever erased. You could try contacting the court and ask for a copy of your record and explain your concerns. The court clerk can let you know whether you should apply for your record to be expunged or destroyed if the incident still appears on your record. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice.]

    • Chloe
      Sat, 13 Nov 2010 at 11:43

      I live in NYC, and I’m 17. A few weeks ago I was arrested for shoplifting $509 dollars worth of items from a department store. I will be going to court to plea guilty next month. This is my first offense and I do not plan to have another one… Is it possible that I will be sent to jail? If not, is it possible for me to request for an ACD or have it sealed or dismissed somehow? Will this effect on my future career in wanting to be a pharmacist and going to Long Island University? Or maybe even try to be a nurse?? Thank you.
      Dear Chloe: When you go to court next month, you may be appointed a public defender who can answer many of your questions and will know how these types of cases are resolved in your county. Although this is your first offense, you may not be offered a diversion program since the amount stolen is relatively high. However, since it is your first offense, a sentence to probation with community service, a fine, and classes or counseling are likely. It is ultimately up to the judge as to how you are sentenced and you could receive jail time, but jail time is more common for a second or additional offense. Your paperwork showing which court you need to appear in may state whether it’s juvenile or adult court. Again, you will find out more at your first court date. Every state has its own laws concerning the destruction or expungement of a criminal record. You may have to wait several years after turning 18 to apply to have your record destroyed. And remember that a judge can deny a request for destruction of a criminal record, so it’s extemely important that you successfully complete the terms of your sentence (probation, etc.). Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice.]

    • james
      Wed, 17 Nov 2010 at 02:01

      I was 12 when i was charged for lewd and lacivious, 13 i was ajudicated. I did the counseling required by the court. I am 20yrs old now and trying to join the military, in which stated I could not enlist due to my record. I have not been in any trouble since that charge. My question is : Can I still have my record expunged?
      Dear James: It is possible that your record can be cleared. It depends on the laws in the state where you were adjudicated delinquent. Every state has its own laws regarding expungement of juvenile records. Call the court you were in and ask about the process involved in expunging your record. They may have an online form to complete and file. You can also check if the court has a website and look for the “records” section. As a last resort you can contact your probation officer or a juvenile law attorney and inquire about the process. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • chris
      Wed, 17 Nov 2010 at 02:05

      i am 17 will turn 18 in feb 1211 i got a charge got to go to court in 2 weeks i been thinking about runing. . .if i do when i come back when i turn 18 will i still be wanted by the police can they still take me to jail or will it go away???
      Dear Chris: That’s a good question. Unless you want this ticket to follow you into your adult life, you need to take care of it while you’re still a minor. Depending on what the ticket is for, if you skip out on your hearing the charge could be refiled against you as an adult. Not to mention the penalties may be greater if charged as an adult as opposed to dealing with it in juvenile court. Think about this before running and not showing up for the hearing. The court could also issue an arrest warrant that may follow you around past age 18. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • willie
      Thu, 25 Nov 2010 at 07:00

      I did my mistake when i was 16 they lowered my charge to Aggrav Battery Person Uses A Deadly Weapon (the only thing on my record) now i have went around asking people friends teachers policemen and lawyer and I’m confuse bout what actions i can take because i get different answers. I’m 18 and i want my picture my name off the county sheriffs office website i want to be clean of everything what can i do what are my options to get close to what I’m striving for? and i feel like my privet lawyer is asking for too much money and i need a way out so this can be over with thank you hope to hear soon-
      if you can please cotact me at my email
      Dear JD: It may not be necessary to hire a lawyer to apply to have your record cleared. Contact the court you were in and ask about how to go about doing this. They may have an online form you can print out and file with the court. Under the laws of your state you may have to wait until you’re 19 or 21. Every state has its own laws regarding the destruction or expungement of juvenile records. Google the name of your state and the words “juvenile records expungement” for the details. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Guillermo
      Fri, 10 Dec 2010 at 06:07

      Hello judge,
      I was arrested at the age of 14 for stealing and iPhone. I never went to juvi or to court. The Person I stole the iPhone dropped the charges. I went to this program called
      Sierra education and took a class. I have no idea if I was convicted or not I received a letter from probation saying how to seal your record just basic info. I don’t know the degree of this crime is this consider a felony I heard they said the iPhone at that time was worth around $700. Can I get this expunged. Thank you.
      Dear Guillermo: If you never went to court you weren’t convicted and you don’t have an official criminal record. You probably participated in a “diversion program” that helps you avoid getting a record if you completed the terms of the program successfully. You may not have a record to expunge, but you can always check with either the probation department that you were involved with regarding the class you took or contact the court. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Guillermo
      Fri, 10 Dec 2010 at 06:38

      Thank you very much is this the best thing I ever heard since my arrest. So on my job application can I put no where it says that If I were ever convicted and there was a paper that the cop had and I saw grand theft it’s still not on my record, right? Thank you
      Dear Guillermo: As mentioned earlier, if you never went to court and didn’t plead guilty or were found guilty by a jury or judge, then you weren’t convicted or adjudicated guilty. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Guillermo
      Sat, 11 Dec 2010 at 05:17

      What if I plead guilty to the cop? But like you said
      Not the judge am still convicted? I know remember that they took some fingerprints does this change anything. So what your saying is that as long as I didnt go to court I’m am not
      Convicted right? Thank you very much for your time.
      Dear Guillermo: Yes, if you did not go to court and plead guilty to the judge or were adjudicated after a trial, then you do not have a record. Pleading guilty to the officer does not change anything. If you want to be certain about not having a record, again just check with the probation department you dealt with or call the court and ask for a copy of your record.
      [This is information only - not legal advice.]

    • amber
      Sat, 11 Dec 2010 at 08:40

      I live in Puerto Rico, I’m 23 yrs old. I have juvinle record and I was caught shoplifting. They didn’t press charges. I have to pay back total amount of money from merch taken. They want me to go in and speak to an officer for interview. Will they open my minor records?
      Dear Amber: Depending on the laws of Puerto Rico and how they decide to handle your case, it is possible that they will see your juvenile record. However, it is very unlikely that you will go to jail over this matter especially if this is your first offense committed as an adult. If that is the case, you may be offered a diversion program, which means that after successful completion of community service, payment of a fine and attending a class or counseling, the case would be closed and the charges dismissed. To find out what exactly appears on your juvenile record, you could try contacting the court in Alabama and ask for a copy of your record and how to begin the process to get your record destroyed or expunged. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice.]

    • JB
      Mon, 13 Dec 2010 at 01:40

      hi my names JB I’m about to be 19 next month and i wanna get rid of the misdameanor off my record i was orginally charged with two counts of csc 2 but was lowered to gross indecency i want it cleared so i can join the military. i was 16 when it happend i went to court i heard the charges my lawyer got it put down to gross indecency i did everything to the point of what the judge asked i finished my class with the councilor for sexual crimes i didn’t go to jail i dont think i had a fine or anything. I just wanna get into the military and do what ive lived my whole life to do and i feel as if this will hold me back. if i go back down to the juvi courts and talked to the judge i had could she help me get it destroyed? cause my sisters in the coast guard and said my crime could indeed be looked upon as a felony and be dq and i dont want that theres nothing out here and michigan where i live so Judge Tom whats your advice to me on how i should deal with my problem?
      Dear JB: There are several approaches you can take to clear your record. You can call the probation department and speak with the person assigned to your case when you were 16. If he or she is still there, ask about the process to expunge your record. You can also contact the court yourself and ask about applying for an expungement. The court might also have a website you can go to for information and possibly online forms. Depending on the classification of your offenses (misdemeanor or felony) you may have to wait a year or two before being eligible for expungement. Every state has its own laws regarding this. As a last resort, contact your public defender or private attorney – whoever represented you in this matter. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Samantha Smith
      Tue, 14 Dec 2010 at 12:30

      When my son was 16 is was charged and pleaded guilty ,to prevent being charged as an adult, with robbery with a gun or simulated gun, use of firearm in com of felony and conspiracy to commit a felony because the other youth involved said he set up the robbery. How much time can he expect?
      Dear Ms. Smith: We assume since your son pleaded guilty that he had a public defender representing him. He or she would have a good idea of what he’s facing at sentencing. Every state is different and his sentence depends on a number of factors including his juvenile history, attitude, probation officer recommendation, etc. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Tyler Phillips
      Thu, 16 Dec 2010 at 05:58

      Hi, i live in alabama and i was recently charged with criminal mischief 3rd degree. i also failed a drug test when i got arrested. i was sent to juvenile for three nights then released. I go to court this upcoming monday.Also i was with friends really recently and they had broke into a store, the owner isnt pressing charges but filed a report and turned in our name and since i was with them, it wouldnt matter if i didnt do the damage im told. Nothing was stolen

      My question:What do you think the court will do to me? send me back to juvey, or possibly color code and probation?
      Dear Tyler: Depending on your age and juvenile history (previous charges) you may be looking at additional time in juvie. Or the judge may place you on probation with random drug testing, counseling, etc. It’s up to the judge to order what’s appropriate under the circumstances to get your attention and keep you from re-offending. Talk with your probation officer about this. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • John
      Thu, 16 Dec 2010 at 06:31

      I am 15 and i live in the state of Maryland. I have finished a diversion program for possession of marijuana. It says if I successfully complete the diversion program the charge will not be filed. Does this mean that this offense wont be on my juvenile record?
      Dear John: That’s exactly what it means. You won’t have a record since your case was “diverted” away from the justice system by you successfully completing the diversion program. Nice job. Remember, though, that diversion usually isn’t offered again especially in drug cases. So, mind the law.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Sam
      Fri, 31 Dec 2010 at 09:11

      I am 19 and live in Ohio. I have a juvenile record, when I was 17 I was caught stealing. I went to court and I paid my fines and did my work detail.I recently had a job interview and they asked if I was ever convicted of anything and I answered no. Was that the right answer? This job is riding on a background check. Will my juvenile record show up on that or is it sealed by now?
      Dear Sam: If you were 17 and the case was handled in juvenile court, you probably were not “convicted.” That’s a term used for adults whereas minors are adjudicated. Juvenile records aren’t automatically sealed, you need to apply to the court for sealing or expunging your record. For example, look at this site for Hamilton County, Ohio: http://www.hamilton-co.org/MunicipalCourt/Expungement/Expungement.htm
      You can also call the court you were in and ask how to go about clearing your record. They may have online forms to apply and you don’t necessarily need a lawyer. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Jaccob
      Mon, 03 Jan 2011 at 12:32

      Hi, can a FBI background check and a sercuerity clearance find my theft mistermeaner at 16, I also took a theft class and paid a fine, to clear records.
      Dear Jaccob: Juvenile records don’t usually show up on background checks, especially if you had it cleared or expunged. However, due to glitches in record-keeping and computer systems, as well as your state’s laws on juvenile records, there’s always the possibility that something may show up. There are no absolute guaranties that an incident wouldn’t appear. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Youth Speaking Out
      Mon, 03 Jan 2011 at 07:04

      "Can my juvenile record be destroyed?" Did you know that in RI a juvenile record is not expunged (destroyed) but… http://fb.me/B2nVRLln

    • Jeff
      Mon, 03 Jan 2011 at 08:51

      I’m very worried I lied at meps about my criminal history and I’m worried that they would find out, when I was 15 I was fighting in school, got charged with a mistermeaner, I was fingered printed and took a picture, but I had the case expunged. My job in the army requires a FBI background check. Would they find my juvinille record?!!!!
      Dear Jeff: It’s not likely that your juvenile record would show up on a background check, especially if it’s been expunged. However, glitches occur every now and then and mistakes happen. Don’t lose sleep worrying about it however. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Jeff
      Tue, 04 Jan 2011 at 06:56

      Even if they took my fingerprints for meps?
      Dear Jeff: That could be a way your record may show up, but it’s not likely to happen. We hope we’re right. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Alice
      Fri, 07 Jan 2011 at 04:42

      At the age of 17 I was arrested in Arizona for shoplifting $20 worth of merchandise. I was never summoned to court but I was told to attend a video presentation and to complete 8 hours of community service, and I’ve done both. I now live in Colorado, I’m over 18, and I wanted to know if this would show up on a standard employee background check.
      Dear Alice: As you know, there are no sure things in life but it’s un;likely anything would show up on a background check. Since you were a minor at the time and didn’t go to court, there’s no official record of the incident. Watching the video and completing the community service
      diverted you away from the justice system. Good luck in the future.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Alice
      Tue, 11 Jan 2011 at 04:05

      Since I wasn’t summoned to court, does that mean I wasn’t convicted?
      Dear Alice: That most likely is correct. If you never had to appear in court over a matter, then you have not been “convicted” of anything and you have not been “charged” with an offense.
      [This is information only - not legal advice.]

    • Alice
      Wed, 12 Jan 2011 at 12:18

      So on a job application that asks if I was ever convicted of a criminal offense, is it right to say no? Or are they only looking for adult offenses?
      Dear Alice: Usually they are asking about adult offenses or if you were charged as an adult even though a minor at the time. Read the question carefully because the language is important. Teenagers in most states aren’t “convicted” in juvenile court – they’re adjudicated responsible for delinquent acts. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Guillermo
      Wed, 12 Jan 2011 at 01:26

      HEY JUDGE,
      OKAY I ASKED AN OFFICER TO SHOW ME ON HIS COMPUTER MY RECORD TO SEE IF ANYTHING SHOWED UP, AN EVENTUALLY IT DID BUT YOU TOLD ME THAT I WAS NOT CONVICTED AND THAT I WOULDNT HAVE A RECORD AND ALSO I WAS TOLD BY A LADY WHO WORKS AT SIERRA EDUCATION ( A PROGRAM)THAT I WAS NOT CONVICTED! SO EVEN THOUGH I WAS NOT CONVICTED I STILL HAVE A RECORD RIGHT? SO WILL THIS SHOW UP ON A BACKGROUND CHECK?
      THANKS!
      Dear Guillermo: We don’t know what you saw on the officer’s computer. If you didn’t go to court, plead guilty or go to trial, you weren’t convicted. Also if you finished a diversion program, you weren’t convicted. The officer may have something in his computer about the initial incident, ticket, etc. but not an official court record indicating that you were convicted of a crime. This shouldn’t show up on a background check. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • jessica
      Wed, 12 Jan 2011 at 09:55

      so I’m currently in school for crime scene investigation in the state of florida when I was 15 and 16 i had my brush with the law though a dumn choise in shoplifting and acsidentaly having a pocket nife on me at school beacuse I had my work bag with me I did my comunity service since then and have had no brushes with the law since I’m now 22 and will be 23 when i graduate and start looking for work do you think i will have any problems finding work in florida as a crime scene tech with my juvinal record beacuse I think florida is one of those states that does not let you seal your record and my juvinal charges are in this state?
      Dear Jessica: It’s unlikely that your juvenile record will prevent you from pursuing your career in the future especially if you completed the terms of your sentence/program. However, you could find out what exactly appears on your juvenile record as the charges may have been dismissed at least for the shoplifting incident. You could try calling the court and ask for a copy of your record. You could also try Googling “Florida destruction or expungement of juvenile record” to find the specific laws in your state. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice.]

    • michelle
      Fri, 14 Jan 2011 at 10:01

      Hi judge, my friend and i are both
      17 and we were caught shoplifting. We were sent to a precent where they took our information down and fingeprints.they gave us a ticket and told us that we have to appear in court. I am wondering if this will be in our permanent record?
      Dear Michelle: If this is your first offense you’ll probably be offered diversion. When you finish the terms of the program the case will be closed and you won’t have a record. So, don’t miss your hearing. When you go to court the legal process will be explained to you. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Sara Abramo
      Sat, 15 Jan 2011 at 03:20

      So me and my friend were caught shoplifting clothes and we were sent to the percent. I was told that i took about $90 worth of things and she about $200. They took out information, pictures, and finger prints and gave us a ticket to go see a judge in court. Will this effect my permanent record and when there is the question on a job application or something so i put yes to the felony question or do i put no? And what do u think the judge will give is?? Will we get community service and probation or only probation or is there a chance we could be sent to jail??
      Dear Sara: If you are a minor and this is your first offense, you can expect to be offered what is called diversion. Once you complete the program the case will be closed and you won’t have a record. Regarding questions on applications, read the language closely and answer truthfully. If asked if you’ve ever been “convicted” of a crime, you weren’t if this is handled in juvenile court and you finished diversion. You can ask about this when you go for your hearing. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Jonah
      Sat, 15 Jan 2011 at 08:49

      When I was 13 I got charged with a class 3 felony, but then I battled the charge and it was brought down to a class 3 misdemeanor of assault. So I did 6 months standard probation. This all occurred in AZ. Then I got caught for curfew, and took a class… Now I’m 18 and I want to join the Police Force. Since they weren’t felonies (one was a misdemeanor and the other was a petty crime) Do I have a clean slate to join to be a police officer?
      Dear Jonah: The misdemeanor may still be on your juvenile record. The curfew probably wouldn’t show since you completed diversion by attending a class. You may be eligible to apply for expungement of your record under Arizona law 8-349. You don’t need a lawyer for this. Call the court you were in and ask how to apply for expungement of your juvenile record. They probably have an online form you can complete and file with the court. You can also go to any public library and read this statute. Ask at the reference desk for Arizona Revised Statute 8-349. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Elli
      Sat, 15 Jan 2011 at 11:39

      I got caught shoplifting in TX when I was 16 years old (twelve years ago). I was placed on probation and I broke probation and got placed into a detention center for a couple of months. I am applying to law schools now and I am very scared to disclose this info when they ask me these two questions:
      1. have you ever been arrested, cited or ticketd for or charge with any violation of the law?
      2. Have you ever been convicted of an offense, placed on probation, or granted deffered adjudication or any type of pretrial diversion, in any jurisdiction?

      I read TX’s website on juvenile records and it states that legally I can deny this for education and employment systems but it also states this excludes cases that went to juvenile court or municipal court…but I was very confused b/c doesnt all juveniles get sentenced by either juvenile or municipal courts? Also, what about the bar? Would they think that I lied? Should I disclose this info and write a small statement on it?
      Thanks so much for your help, Elli
      Dear Elli: It sounds like you’ve done your homework but how reliable is the information you read online. You have to consider the source. It may be in your best interest to have your juvenile record expunged. Contact the juvenile court you were in and ask about the process. You don’t need a lawyer for this and there may be an online form you can print out and file. Read the questions on any application carefully and answer truthfully. This one incident when you were 16 shouldn’t raise any concerns about moral turpitude or ethics in considering you for law school or as a member of the bar. However, denying that it happened when it shows up on a background check, puts you in a different light. Good luck & enjoy law school.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • larry
      Mon, 17 Jan 2011 at 08:06

      Hi, When I was seventeen I was convicted of a felony. This was back in nineteen ninety-eight. The state did charge me as a juvenile. I was sent to a youth ranch which focused on cognitive self change. Since then, I have never been arrested for anything. Furthermore, my record is sealed. I am considering becoming a radiographer. Do professional licensing boards (state or federal) have access to my juvenile records?
      Dear Larry: Every state has it’s own laws regarding disclosure of juvenile records. You can Google the name of your state and “juvenile records” to see the law that applies to you. In addition to being sealed, you may want to look into having them expunged or destroyed. Either contact the court you were in and ask about the process or Google “expungement” and your state for details. Usually you don’t need a lawyer to apply for this. Also, concerning licensing regulations, they may conduct a background check. Again it’s a state-by-state matter. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • karen
      Tue, 18 Jan 2011 at 11:34

      Hey judge, i was caught shoplifting and took an amount of $195. I have to go to court.im just curious, because of what i did and the amount i stole, would the judge give me probation or cumminity service? If i get comunity serive,how many hours do u think they would give me? If i have a job,would that interfer with my probation,if i was given it?!
      Dear Karen: First, if this is your first offense, you’ll probably receive diversion. When you complete the terms of diversion the case will be closed and you won’t have a record. Judges vary regarding the number of community service hours – anywhere from 20 to 40 hours is common or 2-3 days. If you’re placed on probation it wouldn’t be a lengthy period – 3 to 6 months at the most. If you’re in school and/or working explain this to the probation officer you’ll meet or the judge. They will work with your schedule so you can successfully complete the hours. Good luck. -ATJ.info
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • rey
      Sat, 22 Jan 2011 at 09:54

      hi my name is rey i was arrested today morning for racing going 100 somthing miles on the freeway. i am 17 years of age and its my first record. is it true that after turning 18 that record are going to be clear out? i am from oahu hawaii. i was stupid enough to listen to my friends and raced someone in the freeway i promise my self it will never happen again. can someone tell me if this record will be cleard after turning 18.
      Dear Rey: A speeding or racing ticket will not go away once you turn 18. If yuou take a look at Hawaii Revised State 291C-103 you’ll see the reason. The penalties for these violations increase as you reoffend. So, if you get another speeding ticket the consequences get harsher. You can also go to your public library to read the laws. Just ask the reference librarian to see the statute number that’s written on your ticket. Good luck and slow down.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • a. martin
      Sun, 30 Jan 2011 at 04:29

      Dear Judge, My childhood charge was a sentence back in the state of florida (robery). i was 16 years of age but i was initially charged as an adult. i did time at a boys ranch and the told me when i leave this camp my robbery charge will be sealed. for some reason or another it came back up after i received a dui charge in 2004 but i drop to reckless.the reason i am writing you because this is really affecting me from getting a job, can i get this resealed or did the dui reactivate this charge, or is there someone i can contact about this. thanks judge, i’m happy i found this.
      Dear A. Martin: Your DUI should not have “reactivated” your juvenile record, but just because a record is “sealed” does not mean that it is automatically destroyed or expunged. You could try contacting the court where your offense was handled and ask about getting your record destroyed or expunged. You could also try Googling “Florida destruction or expungement of juvenile record” for the specific laws in your state. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice.]

    • J.DANES
      Tue, 01 Feb 2011 at 02:56

      HI JUDGE..GOT A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS..ANY ANSWERS WOULD BE VERY HELPFUL..AND I WILL ALSO BE VERY GRATEFUL. I AM 33 YRS OLD LIVING IN NEW YORK CITY ALL MY LIFE, WHEN I WAS 15, 13YRS AGO, HAVE NEVER BEEN IN TROUBLE WITH THE LAW SINCE. I WAS CHARGED WITH 2ND DEGREE ROBBERY, RESISTING ARREST, AND A WEAPONS CHARGE EVEN THOUGH I DID NOT HAVE A WEAPON ON ME WHEN ARRESTED CUZ ONE OF THE KIDS I WAS WITH HAD THE WEAPON..AND WAS CHARGED WITH ROBBERY CUZ I WAS WITH THE WRONG GROUP OF KIDS..AND CHARGED WITH RESISTING ARREST CUZ I RAN…WELL I GUESS THATS WHAT A INNER CITY KID GETS WHEN HE MAKES THE WRONG DECISIONS…NOT EVEN SURE IF I WAS CONVICTED OF ANY OF THE CHARGES..I DID A YEAR PROBATION..AND I BELIEVE A SUMMER CAMP PROGRAM..WELL MY QUESTION IS THAT I RECENTLY WENT TO COURT 3 TIMES AND THE COULDNT FIND MY RECORD..FINALLY THE 4TH TIME THEY FOUND IT UNDER MY MOTHERS NAME CUZ THEY HAD MISPELLED MY LASTNAME WHEN I WAS A JUVENILE..IF I WASNT SO PERSISTANT THEY WOULD HAVE LED ME TO BELIEVE THAT I DIDNT HAVE A RECORD..WELL IT TURNS OUT I DO..SORT OF.. WITH A DIFFERENT LASTNAME ATLEAST..I EXPLAINED TO THE CLERK THAT I WAS CURIOUS IF MY RECORD WAS SEALED AND IF NOT CAN I HAVE IT EXPUNGED..THEY DIDNT LET ME SEE MY RECORD IMMEDIATELY..BUT THE CLERK LOOK AT MY RECORD THEN LOOKED AT ME AND SAID I MAY NEED A LAWYER. SO I SAID THANK U. STILL TO THIS DAY I HAVENT SEEN MY RECORD CUZ I HAVENT OFFICIALLY REQUESTED IT..WELL I HAVE HAD MY SECURITY LICENSE SINCE 19YRS OLD..NOW IM TRYING TO MAYBE APPLY FOR PEACE OFFICER,POLICE,SCHOOL SAFETY OR OBTAIN MY SECURITY CARRY FIREARM PERMIT….I BELIEVE TO RECIEVE MY FIREARM PERMIT I CANT HAVE A FELONY RECORD IN NYC.NOW IM PRETTY SURE I WAS FINGERPRINTED WHEN I WAS ARRESTED SO WHEN THESE AGENCIES RUN MY PRINTS THROUGH AFIS(Automated Fingerprint Identification System)I PROBALLY WILL POP UP..EVEN THOUGH I WAS FINGERPRINTED FOR MY SECURITY LICENSE AND STILL OBTAINED IT..SO FINALLY MY QUESTIONS IS WHAT CAN I DO 2 CLEAR THIS MESS?? DO I REALLY NEED A LAWYER?? CAN THIS BE EXPUNGED?? WAS I CONVICTED?? WILL THIS AFFECT MY APPLICATION FOR FIREARMS PERMIT 4 SECURITY OR MY APPLICATIONS FOR STATE JOBS AND PEACE OFFICER JOBS?? I REALLY APPRECIATE ANY ADVICE JUDGE :)
      Dear J.: You may not need a lawyer to clear your juvenile record. Take a look at these two websites for New York specific information on how to proceed. Most juvenile courts across the country have a form you can file requesting the court to expunge (destroy) your record. If you satisfied the probation terms or diversion terms from the incident when you were 15, you may be eligible for expungment.
      http://www.ojjdp.gov/pubs/reform/ch2_i.html
      http://criminal.findlaw.com/crimes/expungement/expungement-state-info.html
      Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Beth
      Wed, 02 Feb 2011 at 12:58

      My16 year old was just charged with driving 87 in a 55 & fleeing & eluding bc she went approx 3.5 miles before she pulled over. This happened in Georgia. What will happen to her? She said she was scared & had someone in the car & wasn’t suppose to. She wrote a letter of apology to the Sheriff. She just had a case dismissed this week for speeding & reckless driving. Will that show up since it was dismissed without prejudice?
      Dear Beth: What happens will depend on a number of factors: her record, the traffic laws of Georgia, the judge she’ll appear before and the prosecution’s recommendations to the court. Since the earlier charge was dismissed without prejudice, it could be refiled. With two infractions on her record, her license may be suspended or revoked. She could also be placed on probation for a period of time with specific terms she’ll be required to follow. She may be appointed a public defender for this ticket who will explain all the options to her as well as the penalties she faces. Your biggest concern should be her welfare and the safety of others. She obviously has a heavy foot and needs to obey all traffic laws. A suspension of her driving privileges may not be a bad thing. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • kevin
      Wed, 02 Feb 2011 at 02:28

      hey judge
      i live in new jersey im 19, and i was arrested for have for having marijuana under 50 grams in a motor vehicle when i was 17, but i did the juvenile conference committee and all my charges were dropped. I was wondering if there is even a record of my arrest, or if i even have a juvenile record at all
      Dear Kevin: It sounds like you completed a diversion program in which case you shouldn’t have an official record that would show up on a background check. You can contact the court you were in and ask about your record. Under the laws in your state it may be sealed, destroyed or remains on file. You can apply to have it expunged (destroyed) if you are eligible and you don’t need a lawyer to do this. You can also Google “New Jersey juvenile records expungement” for more information about this. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Kevin
      Wed, 02 Feb 2011 at 05:01

      I Went trough a two day interview course for a high paying job in a company called kirby.I’am very excited to start working there tommorow but,the employer said he will conduct backround checks tonight and will notify us if we don’t pass.Iam 18 years old and i committed two counts of robbery when i was 15.since then i got off probation moved from the state i commited the crimes in and havent commited a felony since.I want to know if my past will show up on the backround check.I can’t afford to lose this geat job.
      PLEASE HELP.
      Dear Kevin: There is a chance the background check will turn up your juvenile record. Every state has its own laws regarding the destruction or sealing of juvenile records. You could contact the court you were in and ask if your record exists and if it’s public. If it is still available, ask about the process to have it expunged. You don’t need a lawyer to do this. Most courts have a self-help form you complete and file with the court. This may not help you for this job, but you can take care of it for the rest of your adult life. You could also contact your former parole or probation officer and see what can be done. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Bob
      Thu, 03 Feb 2011 at 11:30

      I was arrested for 2 counts of misdeamnor theft in PA when i was 32 years old so Im not a minor. The theft charges were dismissed after I completed a pre trial diversion program and I have since expunged the arrest record. Will I be able to get a job working in a bank or in law enforcment? Will these expunged arrest records affect my life forever if I want to work in these fields?
      Dear Bob: AsktheJudge is an educational website for and about teenagers and the laws that affect them. We don’t provide legal advice to teens or adults.
      We suggest that you speak with a criminal defense attorney or adult probation officer about your record and the consequences that may apply to your situation. Since you’ve had the record expunged, there shouldn’t be any affect on future employment applications. Read the questions on all applications carefully and answer truthfully. There’s always a possibility of something turning up – glitches do happen – it may be better to be up front than be caught withholding information. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Nikole
      Tue, 08 Feb 2011 at 11:12

      Hello, I have two questions. When I was 16, I was charged with ‘minor in possession’ and ‘minor in consumption’ of alcohol in Michigan (dumb, I know). I am 20 now, and have hit a snag with job applications out of confusion because I was a minor. If applications ask about convictions, can I put ‘no’ because I was a minor? Or do I have to get it expunged first?
      My second question is: I am applying for the police academy this week, will this have any effect on the board’s decision to accept me? Thanks for your help.
      Dear Nikole: In most states, juveniles aren’t “convicted” – instead they are adjudicated guilty or responsible for the offense. So, read all questions closely on all applications and answer truthfully. If the question is whether you’ve ever been convicted and, in fact, you haven’t been, then you can answer accordingly. As far as expunging your record, it’s a good idea. You don’t need a lawyer to do it. Contact the court you were in and ask about the expungement or destruction of records process. There may be an online form that you can complete and file with the court. If all else in your life is postive and the only mark against you are these two offenses when you were a minor, they shouldn’t prevent you from joining the police force. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • k21
      Thu, 10 Feb 2011 at 12:56

      State: Oregon
      Co.: Jackson
      Court: Jackson Co. Juvenile crict court

      when i was 14 i got a sex crime convictsion, (temp. sex abuse1) i was unknownly given a mentail test ((asked a bunch of question by a stranger)) they were VERY personal questions that i lied one cus well

      A) i wanted them to think i was normal ((but i really dont think that i am all there… think that i have altisum but never tested that i kmnow of))

      B) she was a person of the State ((after being raped and molested in faster care, froced manual punshments (ever had to do wall sits for 3 hours? you cant wall right for DAYS after words)) deprived of contact with ANY ONE out side of the foster house or in-school contact… my days where get up, eat, school, home, sit in dinning room till dinner time, 1 hour of news, sit in dinning rooom till bed time, no talking when in dinning room, being told that no one in your family wants you and so your going to be adopted going going thru a adopton, and being walk over by the state my entire life, i learned that it was better to say what they wanted to here….. it hurt less))

      made to go to a “pannal” when i was IN Juvenile Lockup and when walked in i asked where my lawer or dad was and was told ” i dont need them and they have nothing to do with this, that they COULD NOT be there and that i need to sit down and answer questions for them

      i was to do a 6-18 mouth Treatment ((but was in it for… 15(1), 16(2), 17(3), 18(4), 19(5), 20(6) almost 7 YEARS of no treatment,………….. just the SAME thing OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OEVER AND OVER in a GROUP class……. I tried i really did but i CANT do paper work I try but i just CANT i cant ((been typing this for about a half hour now…… restarted about 10 time and ya it is hard. in that time of 7 YEARS of being put down, called names, AND forced to pay $100 a WEEK or get kicked out and go to jail, of being treated like it would be better if i was dead then to anything elce ((almost happed a few times…. but i could not do that to my mom and dad… i mean they PICKED me, i was not “the mistake”, and then put them thru all of that no i cound not do that to them….. only thing that stoped it from happening……. now i have them and a VERY few really good friends that stand by me and stop it from happening… hey they may not be blood but my mom and dad and 5 of them are my family, my rock …. ))) ok back to topic……
      and no wories i wont that that road i am stronger then that now……
      ok……

      that right….. then after getting into a new class (one on one) after years of the worng type of help i had make a letter to the court even 3 mounths and well i made it and tgook it into tonw in my bag to trun it in, and well i fegot till i was put in jail for it and remember that i was going to go but did not make it to that side of town, cat used bag as litter box, and bag got left in garuage for a few weeks. got called a Lier by the jouge and told that i was a waste of space and that he could not belive a word that came out of my mouth and sent to jail, for 45 days, get out got back to new class get tould that i have to start over from step one tould to get a pollygrath test taken…. tried but the Polly place would not do it with ouit a court oder and i could noyt get one from the court could not go vack to class and was droped from bech ((was put on it after the 45 days in jail, be for io was on supervised))

      well sence that timei got the crime i have had a few PB’s (fergeting a pice of papper in frist class was a PB) and being ran thu the compacter under the rug in the leaky base ment of the lagel system and then kicked to the side like a old used dog toy) i think in the 7 years i had 5 or so PB normal kid in group got about 20 or so before they left group….. in two or three years)) and then a “in the park after hours” ticiet, (droped do to cop not showing up for court date) a failer to obey red light ticket, and a Prosesion of Weed (one bowl of leafly shake) and tould that “i know you where not telling the truth and that you were parked here waiting for meth ((NEVER TUCHED IT NEVER WILL!!!! and if he HAD found some when he shearched my car i would have HELP him convect the one how had it….. my real mom loved it a LOT…. i have seen 1st hand what it willl do to you)))) back to the cop
      “i know you where not telling the truth and that you were parked here waiting for meth, and if you tell me where and who then this all goes away”
      i just said f it and plead guilty

      other then that nothing no nothing….

      but well that is only tuching VERY VERY VERY little into what needs to be said…….. there is still MUCH more but on what you have seen can i get my recored clean/over trund and should i look into suing??
      Dear K21: Every state has laws about getting your juvenile record cleared. It depends on the crimes committed when you were a minor and whether they were considered felonies or misdemeanors. It also may depend on your record as an adult. Destroying a juvenile record is not automatic when you turn 18. You have to apply to the court for it and your request may be denied. Take a look at this page for more information about juvenile records:
      http://www.askthejudge.info/my-juvenile-record/125/
      And on this site which is specific to Jackson County, Oregon:
      http://www.co.jackson.or.us/Page.asp?NavID=3153
      Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Matthew
      Fri, 11 Feb 2011 at 07:47

      I have been thinking of purchasing a firearm (rifle), however when I was 17 in Nevada I pleaded no-contest to a possession of (a very small amount of) marijuana charge (class e felony if i remember correctly) and was entered into a juvenile system (called Drug Court) that ended badly for me for various reasons (mostly financial, the cost of the program was astronomical for me), I believe it ended in me getting a violation of probabtion on my record… as to what that entails im not quite sure… I didnt serve any jail time or anything because of it, they just let me move to California to attend the college I was already enrolled in.

      Now I’ve been a good citizen and had no legal problems since, I’m 29 now. I’m wondering if this will prevent me from being able to purchase a firearm (its also important for me to know because if I can’t purchase a firearm I cant get government clearances for my desired profession at a very well known tech company in the area for the same reason, no felonies allowed).

      I dont believe my offenses were charges as an adult… Maybe I should just go try to buy a firearm and see how it goes?
      Dear Matthew: That is one sure way to find out if you have a record or not. But you might want to clear your name instead. Contact the court you were in when you were 17 and ask if you have a record with them. If you do, ask about the process to expunge or destroy it. You don’t need a lawyer to do this. Most courts have a simple form you complete and file. It could take a month or so to hear the results depending on how busy the court is. Take a look at this website for information about juvenile recrods in Nevada: http://www.nvbar.org/pdf/pamphlets/juvenilepamphlet.pdf
      Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • kelsey
      Tue, 15 Feb 2011 at 08:53

      I was caught stealing from a mall at the age of 16, the mall security was involved and asked me many questions while filing a report which they gave me and told me i was banned from the mall for a year. They then called the police to take me to a holding area in a nearby police station. I was finger printed and took a mug shot, then was released to my guardian. I was asked to pay a fine of $70 two months later, which I did. A year later I was asked to meet with a women in her office located in the juvenile court building. She told me i wasn’t going to court and asked me about the incident while reading my rights. She asked me to write a letter to the store manager of where it took place, then told me she was going to dissmiss and expunge my record and that i didn’t need to tell anyone about that incident. I am now 18 and wanting to join the airforce. Do I have to tell them about this? should I just tell them and see what happends??
      Dear Kelsey: It doesn’t sound like you were convicted of shoplifting. Instead you completed a diversion program and there shouldn’t be a formal record that would show up on a background check. So answer all questions on applications truthfully and read them carefully because the language used is important. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • wendy
      Thu, 17 Feb 2011 at 09:20

      hi, i am in J.J.A cousdy and i did a crime when i was 15 years old and i got sentenced to e.j.j. 18 mths in correctional facilty and 2years on probation. Did the 18 mths and got out and probationofficer sent me to a foster home. i have gotten 2 violations, i am 18 years old but now dealing with the adult judge and i have 52 mths i am looking at in prison because of my e.j.j. Judge told me in 2008m when i got my aggraveted battery charge and aggraveted assult that once i get out of correctional facility and get any violations on my after care i have to do all my time over again in prison. since i got couple violations, what can i do about all this? can they make me do all my time over?
      also i am 18 years old and still in a foster home been here about a year now and going to be 19 in 5 mths can they keep me in a foster home at my age.? thank you for your time.
      Dear Wendy: You may still be under the jurisdiction of the court and subject to the judge’s orders even though you’re 18. You have to look to the specific laws in your state to see what the age limits are regarding court ordered placement. Some states allow offenders to remain in the youth authority until age 21. Ask your probation or parole officer about this. Depending on the court’s earlier sentencing orders and your current violations you may be eligible for return to prison to serve out your time. Again, ask your lawyer or probation officer. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Christie
      Sun, 06 Mar 2011 at 04:23

      My 14 year old daughter got into a fight at school in CA. She was cited and is to be photograph and fingerprinted at least 2 wks before the court date. What can I expect at the court hearing? This is her first offense.
      Dear Christie: When you and your daughter go to court, the legal process will be explained to you. Since this is her first offense, she will probably be offered a diversion program. When she finishes the program the case will be closed and she won’t have a record. Don’t miss the court hearing or a warrant may be issued for her arrest. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Steve
      Fri, 11 Mar 2011 at 01:47

      I am attempting to join the army. I have had them pull up my juvenile (from Washington state) record and tell me no already. At that time the told me that because they do FBI background checks, even if I get my record sealed that it would not make a difference because they still have access to it, do you know if this is the case? And if it is, what I can do?
      Dear Steve: Look into applying to the court you were in to have your juvenile record expunged (destroyed). To be able to do that depends on whether the crimes were misdemeaoinors or felonies, the laws in your state that apply, and if you completed all court-ordered terms. You can also contact your probation officer and ask about this. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Jenny
      Sat, 12 Mar 2011 at 07:02

      Hey my name is Jenny. I got caught making a beer run when I was 16, I’m not sure if that’s a felony or a misdemeanor? That was the first time I ever got involve with the law, and not planning to do that mistake again! I’m just wondering will I be able to clear off my record once I turn 18? I’m 17 now about to turn 18. please help me and thank you.
      Dear Jenny: The incident was most likely charged as a misdemeanor if it was charged at all. If you completed a diversion program, then the incident will not appear on your record. Try calling the court and ask for a copy of your juvenile record, so you can see whether anything appears on it. The laws vary from state to state concerning the destruction of juvenile records. You could try asking the clerk of the court how to begin the process to request the expungement of your record. In some states, you may have to wait until you are 18 or even older before you can make this request. As long as you’ve stayed out of trouble and completed the terms of your sentence, then a judge will most likely destroy/expunge your record if you have one. Best of luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Liz
      Sat, 12 Mar 2011 at 07:32

      I’m 22 year old who had trunancy ticket(s) back in CA when I was 14&15 years old. One ticket was paid and two other tickets were dismissed. Now that I want to join AF ROTC here in NV, they have asked me to get like a form or something from the CA court. I tried to call all court to get any info as much as I can, but no luck. [either no answer or they have said that it shouldn't show up] WHAT CAN I DO TO SHOW MY CAPT. THAT MY RECORD IS CLEAN? Those time was my last involvement with the police, I have yet to get any tickets ever since…..
      Dear Liz: You could try asking the court for a copy of your record so that you can provide verification to your captain that your record is clean. Explain to the court why you need a copy of your record and you should be able to receive a copy which will show that you have nothing on it. You can also try calling the police department in the same area as the court and ask them for a copy of your record if you don’t get anywhere with the court. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Tim
      Thu, 17 Mar 2011 at 04:42

      Is it possession to take marijuana from someone to throw it away? Is there anything I can do to change this charge against me?

      I was riding with some friends to a sports event. I found out one of the persons in the car had marijuana. I told him to throw it away. He would not, I took it from him and threw it in a bush. Would taking it from him to throw it away qualify as being in possession of it?

      This is why, a police drove out of the shadows of the parking lot I had thrown it in and told me to retrieve what I just threw out. Stupidly I did. I was naive and thought telling the truth (that I threw it out) would be on my side. Well the policeman asked me if it was mine and of course I said no because it was not my marijuana. But the other two people I was with also denied it was theirs.

      Bottom line, I got stuck with a juvenile charge, had to complete a course on using marijuana and that was it. However, now I can’t get into the military because I told the military recruiter about this. I can’t get a job anywhere because when I put down the truth, I cannot get a job. I am 20 years old and still do not have a job.

      I live in Georgia. I read about expungement and sealing but that still does not get rid of the charge.

      Oh, my parents did not believe me either and made me get a drug test which came back negative for all drugs and alcohol.

      Any ideas as to how I can turn this around? I understand learning from your mistakes but I need to work and no one will hire me with that background. I do not smoke, drink or use drugs and never have. I don’t have any other criminal background at all.

      The charge was possession of less than a gram of marijuana.

      I thought of asking my friend to admit that it was not his or if he would not admit it, to videotape him admitting it. The other friend that was there saw what happened too. My mom kept urging me to do that when it happened three years ago and I felt so uncomfortable doing that but I did not realize this situation would come back to haunt me. Everyone I have spoken to said I have really lousy friends for not stepping up to their wrongdoing and letting me take the fall for them. Why can’t I turn against them like they did me? I feel so stupid about the whole thing.

      Thank you for any information and advice.
      Dear Tim: Expungement means to destroy a record. Check with the court you were in and ask about expunging your record. If you completed a diversion program, then this incident shouldn’t be on your record or show up on a background check. You could also speak with a criminal defense attorney in your area to straighten this out. Oftentimes, a lawyer will provide a free consultation for the first 30 or so minutes. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • dustin
      Sat, 19 Mar 2011 at 03:06

      i am in the military and i was wondering when i was 13 i had gotten the cops called on me for asualt with a deadly wepon besides a gun but all they did was take my fingderprints and let me go and the military just found it on my record

      i was wondering if i could get this off my record since i never been in trouble since and that was my first time ever getting in trouble and that was almost 8 years ago and wondering if it should havde been on my record at all
      Dear Dustin: Every state has its own laws concerning criminal records. Even though there may be no record of a conviction, sometimes a record of an arrest remains on a person’s record. Try calling the court (if charges were filed at all) and/or the police department that handled the matter. Explain your circumstances and ask about clearing your arrest record. They should be able to provide further information and expalin whether or not there is a process for you to clear your record. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Steve
      Sat, 19 Mar 2011 at 09:54

      I have several misdemeanor offenses and a Class C Felony on my juvenile record in Washington state. I am trying to join the army and I need to have my F.B.I. file destroyed as well. Will getting my record expunged destroy my F.B.I. File?
      Dear Steve: Whether your record will appear in an FBI background check depends on a number of things including your state’s laws. You could try calling the court where the charges were filed and ask about the process to expunge your record and the effect an expungement will have on FBI background checks. Juvenile records are often “sealed” when the person turns 18, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are forever erased. At the same time, your juvenile record should not be held against you like an adult record is. You could try contacting an Army recruiter and ask how your record will affect your ability to get in the Army. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Truman
      Fri, 01 Apr 2011 at 11:38

      When I was 13 years old I was caught shoplifting almost $1,000 worth of items. I live in Texas. I am now 23 and applied to the Sheriffs Office as a volunteer jailer and was turned down (denied). The Sheriffs letter to me states “After an initial criminal history check, it has been determined that you have a criminal history that makes you ineligible for a position with the Sheriff’s Office Reserve Command.” Please tell me what to do to remove the record. Im not sure if it was a felony or not. If so, how is it possible that I have legally purchased 4 firearms? Thanks.
      Dear Truman: Since you’ve been able to legally purchase firearms, it may not be a felony on your record or it may be that the laws in your state don’t consider juvenile convictions, etc. Try contacting the court where the charges were filed when you were 13. Explain the circumstances, ask for a copy of your record so you know what exactly is on it and ask how to begin the process to get your record expunged or destroyed. You don’t necessarily need an attorney to help you do this. You also could try Googling your state’s name and “destruction or expungement of juvenile record” for more information specific to the laws in your state. Best of luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Luis Garcia
      Thu, 07 Apr 2011 at 03:40

      Hello judge I have a question. I was arrested when I was 15 and I have a class d felony. Since then I have been on the right side of the law. After that charge I decided to mature I went to school got my g.e.d then got my associates now I’m one semester away to get my bachelors degree in law enforcement. I have been waiting to get my bachelors degree to become a police officer. Now I haven’t apply just because of my juvenile record I feel like I won’t get in. I was wondering if I can get this record expunged I’m 21 now and I have been good all this time it’s been 5 years now? would police agencies hold it against me if I do get the record expunged? Thanks for your help anything will be gladly appreciated as I’m very confused as to what will I do with a bachelors in cj if I can’t be a cop thank you
      Dear Luis: Depending on the nature of the felony on your record, you may be able to apply to have it expunged. There are several things you can do to find out about clearing your record. You can contact the court you were in and ask; contact the public defender’s office if they represented you on the charge; or go on the court’s website and see if they explain the expungement process. You can also Google the name of your state and “juvenile expungement” for information. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • nikolas
      Mon, 11 Apr 2011 at 03:26

      Im supposed to have my name legally changed in 2 weeks. I got caught ditching when i was a minor. Would this affect the judges decision to grant it? I live in california.
      Dear Nikolas: It is highly unlikely that a truancy incident would have any effect on changing your name. The reasons a judge may hesitate or refuse to grant a change of name includes fraud or deception. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Marge
      Sat, 23 Apr 2011 at 12:34

      I am currently 16 and last year I was charged with shoplifting. I wasn’t taken into the station or fingerprinted or anything. This took place in Brookfield Wisconsin. I paid the fine and did my community service and finished with all of it. It was my first and only offensive. My understanding is that it will show up on any record I have right now as just a ticket, like a traffic ticket or something.
      I’m starting to apply for a job and I just had a few questions about this and the applications. I’ve already looked at one form and seen a question asking me about any record I have. What would I write for a question like that. Also I saw one where it said that the company would be performing a back ground check. Are they going to find out about this if I check? Is this something I should even be worried about?
      Dear Marge: It sounds like you completed a diversion program, which would mean that you would not have any record of a conviction and that the charges were dismissed. However, to verify what your record shows or does not show, try contacting the court where the charges were filed. Explain the circumstances and that you are applying for a job and need to know what is on your record. You should be able to request a copy of your record. Be sure to read the wording on any application very carefully. Most applications ask about either felony or misdemeanor “convictions”. If you successfully completed diversion, then you have not been “convicted” of anything and can truthfully answer no on the application. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Blake
      Mon, 25 Apr 2011 at 10:00

      I was arested when i was 15 for a felony and spent 4 days in a juvenile detention facility.Im 18 now nd i was told that the adjudication is visible to employers.Ive had a hard time obtaining a job. So i would like to know where i can get this erased off my record ?
      Dear Blake: Check with the court you were in and ask about expunging your record. You don’t necessarily need a lawyer for this. Because you have a felony on your record, you may have to wait before you’re eligible. Google “North Dakota juvenile records expungement” for details on this. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Alex
      Tue, 26 Apr 2011 at 01:23

      I am currently 17 and was charged with pety theft when I was 15 i have recently obtained a new job where i will have to submit fingerpriting (live scan, doj) !Will my record show up if i paid my restitution, did my community service, and completed my probation. The case was deemed dismissed. Please Help!
      Dear Alex: If you participated in a diversion program and the case was dismissed after you finished it, then there shouldn’t be a record that is available to anyone outside the court system. However, glitches do happen occasionally. You can contact the court and ask if your record still exists or has it been deleted from their system. If it’s still available, ask about expunging (destroying) it. It’s a simple process that doesn’t require a lawyer. The court probably has a form that you complete and file. Since you’re 18, you may have to wait a period of time before you’re eligible. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • johnny
      Tue, 26 Apr 2011 at 04:34

      i am 16 and i spammed my friends phone with text messages about 96 times and crashed it i sent the f-word from google voice every 10 to 15 seconds. and sprint was not happy cause they claim that was a attempt to crash the network. i meant no harm, so….. can this be charged as a felony? this happened 5 days ago and we have had no black vans on the street or letters in the mail yet. NOTE: i have not spoke with sprint and according to my friend, that’s what sprint claimed. this was out of state.
      so……can this be a felony?
      Dear Johnny: It is possible that what you did constitutes a felony in your state. Every state has its own laws regarding threats, harassment and stalking that are classified as misdemeanors or felonies depending on the circumstances. If you Google the name of your state and words such as “electronic harassment” or “communication crimes” you may find some information about this. Think twice before doing this again. It could backfire on you and have an affect on your future. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Veronica
      Thu, 28 Apr 2011 at 10:02

      Hi My name is Veronica,
      I just had an argument with my daughter because she confessed that in 2007 at age 14, she was given a daytime curfew ticket and gave a false name but true address, since she was escorted back home by the police after school. I went home late that day, 5pm, because of work. She never told me about it until now that she’s 18 1/2. She never payed that ticket or went to court for it. Can she get an Arrest Warrant for this, go to jail, or will this affect her REAL record in any way? Will this curfew ticket ever erase from the police system? Thank You So Much!
      Los Angeles, California
      Dear Veronica: It is highly unlikely that an arrest warrant exists on a curfew offense. To put your mind at ease, you can take a look at this California government website and see if your daughter is listed. If she is, there are instructions on how to apply for sealing the record. http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp/other/crimlawclean.htm#juvrecs
      Even if a record does exist, a curfew ticket shouldn’t have any affect on her future endeavors (employment, education, military, public office, etc.). Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Cella
      Fri, 29 Apr 2011 at 11:30

      In 2007 my son was arrested and charged with a Class B misdemeanor in the State of Texas. He was 13. He never went to court, and he was never held. He was fingerprinted and photographed at school. He was released to me. We met with a Juvenile Probation Officer and signed a “Deferred Prosecution Agreement”. After about 4 mos. my son was released from the Agreement. It required him to perform community service and meet periodically with the Juvenile Probation Officer.
      Now, recently, we were attempting to get the records sealed. However, after speaking with 4 different lawyers, the Juvenile Probation department, the County Attorney’s office, I cannot get a straight answer about how to proceed. Everyone gives a different response.
      When I read the Family Code this is what I am seeing:

      Section 52.03 Says that an arrest can be handled without going to court
      (my son never went to court, I believe his “Deferred Prosecution Agreement would be considered “informal disposition)

      Section 58.01 “The law enforcement agency may not forward any information
      to the Department of Public Safety relating to the child…while the child is on informal disposition under Section 52.03. …after the date the child completes an informal disposition under Section 52.03…the law enforcement agency shall destroy all information, including photographs and fingerprints, relating to the child. (if my son was considered to be under “informal disposition”, then his records should have been destroyed back in June of 2007)

      Section 58.002 (b) On or before December 31 of each year, the head of each
      municipal or county law enforcement agency located in a county shall certify to the juvenile board for that county that the photographs and fingerprints required to be destroyed under section 58.001. (some authority in the county should have certified that this was done
      What do you think?
      Dear Cella: Assuming the laws that you’ve cited are current, it seems that you need to contact the “juvenile board” in the county where this incident happened (58.002). You could also ask the probation officer (or his/her supervisor) assigned to your son at the time for clarification on this process. If the statutes cited were applicable to your son’s case and followed, then there shouldn’t be a record to be concerned about. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • landon
      Fri, 29 Apr 2011 at 11:22

      i wanted to know if you get charged with trespassing , vandilism,and destruction of property as juvinile. will this keep me from joining the army ?
      Dear Landon: First, you should check with the juvenile court and request a copy of your record, so you know what exactly is on it. For example, if you completed a diversion program, the charges would have been dismissed and you should not have a record of any conviction or “adjudication” (the term used in juvenile court). You could then request the court to destroy or expunge your juvenile record. Every state has its own laws concerning the destruction of juvenile records, so try Googling your state’s name and “destruction or expungement of juvenile record” to find out the specific laws in your state. Finally, you could try contacting a recruiting officer for the Army to find out if your juvenile record will affect your enlisting at all. Because your priors were in juvenile court, it is unlikely that they will affect your chances, but you should get a clear answer from a recruiter. Best of luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Jordan
      Sun, 01 May 2011 at 05:33

      I live in California and recently i was pulled over for speeding and the cop was able to smell weed in the car and we handed it over to him. I was charged with a misdemeanor of possession of marijuana, even though it want mine i charged because i knew it was in the car. I’m 17 and have been accepted to college and wanted to know if somehow they could find out and overturn my acceptance. This is also my first charge ever. I would also like to know if i should try to have the record expunged after i go to court or wait till im 18 to have it sealed.
      Dear Jordan: We cannot advise you whether or not you should fight the charge in court. You’ll need to speak with a local criminal attorney about it and decide whether you want to hire an attorney to help you fight the case. Since this is your first offense, it is likely that you will be offered a diversion program. This means that once you complete some community service, pay a fine and/or attend a class or counseling, the charges would be dismissed and you would not have a record of any conviction. Therefore, it would be unlikely that the college would find out about the incident. When you go to court, you’ll have an opportunity to speak with a probation or court officer who you can ask additional questions. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Jesus
      Wed, 04 May 2011 at 01:21

      I live in California, I was wondering if my juvenile record was cleared when i turned 18? The ONLY time I got a ticket was when I was caught riding a trolley without buying a ticket and supposed to be in school(ditching). I went to court and they gave me 40 hours community service, I did not complete them on time so I asked for an extension. They granted my extension for 3 more months and doubled my hours to 80, I am almost done with them I WILL be completing them by the due date. Will this be cleared as soon as I complete the hours? I am enlisted in the Marines and will need a Security Clearance for the MOS I signed up for. Just wondering if this will show up in my record when they do the criminal backround check. I did pass the Military Entrance Proccessing Station(MEPS) wihout any problems. I was 17 when I got the ticket now im 18.
      Dear Jesus: Truancy charges don’t usually result in a record that would show up on a background check. To put your mind at ease, you can contact the court and ask if they have a record on you. If they do, ask about the process to get it expunged. It’s a simple form that you complete and file with the court. You don’t need a lawyer for this. Thanks for your service to our country and stay safe.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Hojune
      Wed, 04 May 2011 at 10:16

      I forgot to go to a court date for my truancy ticket which i got when i was 17. I will be turning 18 soon, can i clear the tickets myself or will i still need my parents?
      Dear Hojune: Since you’re still a minor you may need your parents to help you straighten this out. They can contact the court and ask about resolving this now instead of having it carry over into your adult life. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Jessie
      Thu, 05 May 2011 at 12:43

      Hi i was just convicted of a misdimeanor for shoplifting. I was arrested on paper but not physically. The person that I was with stole 10 times more than me but ended up getting special treatment because she lives in a certian city one block away from me. So nothing goes on her record. I was talking to my officer who helped me with all my paper work and stuff, and he said that Florida (where i live) doesnt seal juvenile files. But i can get it expunged after a month or so. I was reading the previous comments and see that you can get your record distroyed, do you know if Florida has that option? Please help I really want to work at a highly competetive career after college but feel that my record will get in the way. Any tips on how to work around it? thanks!
      Dear Jessie: Take a look at this Florida government website for details on how to go about getting a juvenile record expunged. You may have to wait until you’re eligible, but it’s an easy process and you don’t need a lawyer to do this. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Robert
      Sat, 07 May 2011 at 11:15

      When i was 15 in Texas i was charged with involuntary manslaughter. I served 13 months in a Texas Youth Commission facility. Would that be a Class C Felony or a severe misdemeanor being that i was only 15 years old at the time???
      Dear Robert: Every state has its own classifications for crimes. In other words, one state may classify involuntary manslaughter as a low felony and another state as a higher felony. We’re not aware of a state that classifies this as even the highest misdemeanor, but it’s possible. Check your court documents from this incident for the details. You could also contact your lawyer at the time or the court. As a last resort you can Google the name of your state and “involuntary manslaughter” for information. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Arian
      Mon, 09 May 2011 at 03:41

      When i was 13 i was charged with agg. assault with a deadly weapon. I am now 18 and trying to enlist into the military, and i was refused due to this record. Is there any possible way to get this record sealed or destroyed? If so can i make the petition myself?
      Dear Arian: You can contact the juvenile court you were in and ask about the expungement process (destruction of records). You can also go on the court’s website to see if expungement is covered. They may have forms online that you can complete and file. You don’t necessarily need a lawyer to apply for this. However, depending on the laws in your state, you may have to wait a year or two before you’re eligible to apply. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • au
      Tue, 10 May 2011 at 09:03

      hey iam 15 and just asking iam on probation right know and yesterday i got caught stealing Gatorade and chicken sanwhiches and i got a ticket for that i live in houston tx what would happen to me when i got to court
      Dear AU: What happens now depends on your record, why you’re on probation now, the recommendation of your probation officer, the court’s policies and the laws that apply in this situation. There are a lot of factors that go into the court’s decision now that you’re back on a new offense. The judge may continue you on probation with new terms, house arrest, and possibly some time in detention. Discuss this with your probation officer. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • au
      Tue, 10 May 2011 at 11:04

      one more thing do i have to pay a fine and how much will court fee be?
      Dear AU: Courts differ regarding fees and fines. You may be ordered to pay both as well as restitution to the store if they request it. Again, your probation officer will know about these specific matters.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • au
      Tue, 10 May 2011 at 12:53

      ok thank you oh this is my second strike would the record still be there or gone
      Dear AU: It is possible that the court has its own record of the first offense. If you’re headed back to the same court, the judge and probation officer will know this is your second time. It’s likely in the court’s computer system as well.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • au
      Tue, 10 May 2011 at 01:03

      soo the record would be deleted so that means i can apply for a job right?
      The record “may” be deleted. There are no guarantees with recordkeeping. Occasionally glitches happen. You can apply for a job – just read the questions carefully and answer truthfully. Run this by your parents if you’re concerned about how to answer.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Khaliq
      Tue, 10 May 2011 at 01:13

      i got caught stealing at lunch and they gave a ticket. im currently not on probation but i have been before. what would they give my at court?
      Dear Khaliq: Assuming you either plead guilty or go to trial and are found guilty, you may be placed back on probation with new terms. It’s up to the judge assigned to your case. He or she will take into consideration your age, criminal history, and other factors important to getting your attention about remaining on the right side of the law. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • mr
      Tue, 10 May 2011 at 04:39

      when i was 14 i got into big troble i am now 25. i was charged with 2 counts of indency with a child i searved 10 days at a Juvenile detention center and i complted my probation and therpy class. this was in texas i did not have to register as a sex offender, i want to get a good job but this seems to follow me.is there any way i can get this cleared.
      also my charges was droped to bodly inj to child
      Dear MR: It is possible for you to apply for your juvenile records to either be sealed or destroyed (expunged). Every state has its own process and requirements to do this. Take a look at this Texas government website for information:
      http://www.tyc.state.tx.us/programs/parentguide_records.html
      It may be possible to complete a form available on the court’s website and file it. You may not necessarily need a lawyer to do this. You can contact the juvenile court you were in and ask. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • larry
      Sat, 14 May 2011 at 03:15

      when I was 15 I was accused of supposedly if I recall groping or something like that my little 6 year old niece which was completely bogus. shes my first cousins daughter and I at first thought the whole thing was hilarious and just nonsense but when my cousins then girlfriend filed a complaint with the police then I was not only dumbfounded and shocked but pissed off that she would do such a thing without even questioning me first. I am almost 99 percent sure that my cousins ex girlfriend either made that whole story up either because she was trying to get full custody at the time and that would probably help her case or simply because since my cousins ex-girlfriend was truly molested as a child she must of been left traumatized from what she went through as a child and shes just being a overly protective and a scared paranoid parent of having her child molested as well which is understandable I cant blame her for being like that but the false accusation is another thing. Not only did I pass a lie detector ordered by the court when the case was going on but the judge ended up throwing out the case and dismissing it to this day my cousin and I are still rather close like before except I out of the respect for my cousin still dont even see or speak to my niece sad but true. my question is can I seal my juvenile record so that that whole issue wont come up neither to police when they pull me over and run my name through their database which can possibly categorize me in their eyes as a sex offender nor by my soon to be employer who told me they were gonna run a background check first before the actual hire. I just dont want this completely false allegation to follow me for the rest of my life even after all the legal issues being handled and proving my innocence. thank you for your time and advice
      Dear Larry: If the judge threw out the charges, then you should not have any record of a conviction. You could try contacting the court where the charges were filed and ask for a copy of your record. That way you can see whether anything appears on it. If you record contains anything, it may show that any charges against you were dismissed. As for potential employers, usually they are concerned about any convictions, so dismissed charges should not be a problem. You also can ask the court whether you can request that the initial charges be expunged or destroyed from your record. Every state’s laws are different concerning the expungement/destruction of criminal records. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • kyle
      Sun, 15 May 2011 at 11:45

      I was charged with a class a felony when I was a juvenile I would like a complete copy of the record for fighting the sentence extension that happened a few years ago I would like to know where to go this happened in nd
      Dear Kyle: Try contacting the clerk of the court where the charges were originally filed and explain what you are attempting to obtain. The clerk should be able to lead you in the right direction. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • DJ
      Tue, 17 May 2011 at 09:26

      I am 16 and have 4 felonies and two misdeanors can i get this erased off of my record i am trying to go into the marine corp but i dont think they will let me… so can i get some info…please.
      Dear DJ: You may be eligible to have your juvenile records destroyed or what’s called “expunged.” Every state has laws about this and they differ. So, Google the name of your state and “juvenile record expungement” for the details. You can also contact your probation or parole officer and ask about this. You may have to wait until you’re 18 or even older regarding the felonies. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Dakota
      Fri, 20 May 2011 at 09:46

      HI, when i was 17 i got in trouble with the law, i was on diversion for breaking into a car, it was considered a felony. right now i am 21 and trying to get my license to sell health insurance in kansas. i never was arrested, or went in front of a judge. i completed the diversion and everything. im worried that this will effect my chances getting my license will it?
      Dear Dakota: If you successfully completed a diversion program, then there should not be any record of a conviction and it will most likely not affect your ability to get a license. You could try contacting the court where the charges were originally filed and ask for a copy of your record so you can see whether or not anything appears on it. You also could try contacting the licensing board to find out what kind of background checks are conducted for a health insurance license and whether completing a diversion program which resulted in no record will have any affect on your ability to obtain a license. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • kalan
      Sun, 29 May 2011 at 12:02

      Hello. When I was thirteen years old my cousin was arrested by the police for breaking into someones car. Seems the man who’s car it was caught him and chased my cousin who ran right into the police. My cousin told the police officer that I made him break into the car which was totally untrue and I was no where near him when this occured (I was actually at home playing basketball). My grandmother took me down to the precint to straighten this matter out (I had been with my cousin earlier that day riding bikes). The officer tried to get me to confess to being the mastermind behind this. I of course did not becuase I honestly had nothing to do with it and was not with him when he broke into the man’s car. I was fingerprinted and given a notice came in the mail telling me I had a court date. My mom and I went to court and the judge told me to “consider myself lucky becuase the police officer did not see me and the man who’s car was broken into stated he never saw me only my cousin. She then stated that she did not want to see me in her courtroom again.) Years later I applied to the police department and was asked to put down any contact I have ever had with the police. I put down that I was arrested because I thought that was what they did when they took my fingerprints. I was told that I was disqualified because of my juvenile arrest for larceny from a motor vehicle. I called down to the family division courthouse recently and the clerk stated (and sent me a copy) that I do not have a record period. I guess I don’t understand whether or not I was charged with a crime of larceny. If I was actually arrested becuase I was fingerprinted. It appears that the law enforcement agency used what I said to disqualify me. Yet I have a letter stating that I have a record search shows that I have record as a juvenile.
      Dear Kalan: Being fingerprinted does not necessarily mean that you were arrested. If you were fingerprinted and booked into the detention center that night, then you were “arrested”. Since you had to go to court, it sounds like charges probably were filed, but then dismissed based on the lack of evidence against you. Try contacting the police department, explain the circumstances and that the record from the court shows that you don’t have any record even though the police department stated you have a juvenile record. Ask for a copy of your record through the police department. It’s possible that there is no “criminal record” through the court, but an internal record through the police department. You could ask to speak with someone at the police department about this. Best of luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • swagger
      Tue, 07 Jun 2011 at 10:22

      hey iam swagger and i got probation aready and then i got caught stealin 8 gardors and 3 chicken sanwich what would happen to be when i go to court and i got a ticket for it class c theft?
      Dear Swagger: Since you’re already on probation, you may be facing increased consequences for these new charges if you’re found guilty. That may include intensive probation or some time in detention or jail. Discuss this with your probation officer and attorney if you have one or the court appoints one to represent you. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • John
      Fri, 24 Jun 2011 at 07:42

      I have been caught shoplifting at age 16 and soon going to be applying to college. i recieved informal probation and was told that as my case ends the incident will be dismissed. is that the same as having my record exsponged. although i have had my incident of shoplifting dismissed i think ive been told that i still have a record. basically i want to know if i have to tell colleges that i have been caught shoplifting etc. or if i still have a record how can i seal my record. i live in the state of california by the way.
      Dear John: It sounds as if you completed a “diversion” program. If that’s the case, you don’t have a record to worry about. You can contact the court you were in and ask about this. If there is a record, ask about the expungement process. You don’t need a lawyer for this. In fact, the court may have an online form you can complete and file. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Cory
      Sat, 25 Jun 2011 at 09:03

      I have two charges of theft by receiving when i was 17 in Colorado. They were both fully satisfied. I am applying to be a trucker and wonder if it is possible for them to find these records.
      Dear Cory: Although juvenile records are often “sealed” when the minor turns 18 or so, that does not necessarily mean that they are permanently erased. Depending on the type of criminal background check your potential employer conducts, it’s possible that they will see your criminal history. Perhaps you could contact the court and ask for a copy of your criminal record so you can see exactly what appears on it. You may want to get your record destroyed or expunged, so you could ask one of the clerks at the court how to begin the process to destroy/expunge your record. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • jeremy
      Wed, 06 Jul 2011 at 02:12

      i was 16 and got charged as a juvenile for attempted agrivated indecent libertys with a child its level seve person felony i was never read my rights by the police when they intarigated me i was scared because i have never been in trouble with the law before and didnt know i could have a parent or a laywer present i told the cops that i did nothing and procceded telling them that and he told me that if i dont tell them something that they would hang me in court and he left the room for at least 15 mins. when he came back in i had came up with a lie and told him a buch of storys i am twenty now but was wondeing if i was to sue the police department would any justice come to this and how would i go about doing it??
      Dear Jeremy: Not knowing all of the facts of the incident makes it impossible for us to make a comment about how or if you should proceed with a lawsuit against the police. Furthermore, AsktheJudge.info doesn’t provide legal advice to adults or teens. We suggest you speak with a lawyer about your options here. A “statute of limitations” may apply to your case meaning it may be too late to do anything since it’s been four years since you were questioned by the police. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Tim
      Mon, 11 Jul 2011 at 09:14

      This is in Wisconsin. In High School I got in a little trouble, there were several charges against me. I was finger printed as part of this. Basically got in trouble for doing things on school computers. The best I can remember I think I ended up with a “consent decree.” I was before a judge once and after that my parents, a social worker and I met and signed an agreement. Basically if I kept in contact with the social worker and did not get in any trouble for 6 months that would be the end of it. I successfully completed the agreement and never had to go back to court.

      What my parents say is that they think this should not be on my record… but none of us have the official paper work on this anymore. I’m in my mid-upper 20’s and have not gotten in any trouble ever since this (16 when it happened). Either the lawyer or social worker told us that I would not have to disclose this incident.

      I’ve contacted the clerk of courts in the County where this happened and she stated that most juvenile records they have are destroyed 4 years after you turn 18. It sounds like if I were to go there and ask to see this they likely would not have anything. I ran a background check on the DOJ website in WI and it came up with no records (but they don’t disclose juvenile records on the site). I’m trying to figure out where I can go to request to see my juvenile record to see if anything is there or not.

      I’ve been offered a government job in IT including responsibilities for a police department and they are doing what I believe is an FBI background check (had to submit fingerprints) and am wondering if this will show up. Technically since I THINK I had a consent decree I was never convicted and was truthful in answering “no” to “Have you ever been convicted of an offense beside a minor traffic violation?”
      Dear Tim: If you didn’t plead guilty in juvenile court or go to trial on the charge, then you weren’t “convicted.” To determine if a record exists you can check directly with the court you were in or contact the police department that was involved. If you find that something is out there, ask about filing for expungement of your record. This is an easy step to take and doesn’t require a lawyer. Many courts have a one-page form that you complete and file with the court. It may even be on the court’s website. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Nigel
      Sun, 17 Jul 2011 at 11:06

      Hi, Im 17 years old and yesterday i was cuffed for TOS (Theft of service) (also known as going through the turnstyle at a train station without paying) i was taken to a nearby precinct and later got a Desk Appearance Ticket to get out after a couple of hours. I was also given a court hearing at a later date. i was wondering, since this was my first and last offence, will it still be on my permanent record? or can it be taken off after a while via the court hearing or once i turn 18?
      Dear Nigel: Since this is your first offense, you may be offered a diversion program. This means that upon successful completion of the program, the charges would be dismissed and you would not have record. If diversion is not offered in your case, your record will likely be “sealed” once you turn 18. We’re glad to hear you learned from this. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • DaQuan Govan
      Sun, 17 Jul 2011 at 06:23

      Today I got arrested in South Carolina for shoplifting and i truthfully regret it. But I am really stressing about my future. When I turn 16 I am going to want to go a job and when I finish school I am going to what to go to college. I want to get this charge or whatever off my record so I will be able to get a job and get into college with out no problem, and The thing about me is I am really a smart dude and want to do something with my life.So What can I do,I am really stressing :(
      Dear DaQuan: Try to calm down as this should not affect your future. If this is your first offense, it is likely that you will be offered a diversion program. This means that upon successful completion of the program, the charges would be dismissed and you would not have record. Diversion is often offered only for a first offense, so we hope you learned from this. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • maggie
      Wed, 20 Jul 2011 at 01:45

      Hi my name is maggie. I was with my ex boyfriend in a park parking lot at midnight and we were just kissing. Two police came and said that we were having sex in the park. They said that we were in the park which is illegal, but first of all the park sign was faded and illegible, and we weren’t in the park. They made us both call our parents and the officer told them “I was having sex with my boyfriend in the park” which i wasn’t at all. I got a ticket and so did he, but at the bottom it has arrest, and then a number. I went downtown today, and pleaded not guilty. I can’t help but wonder what’s going to happen if it shows up on my record. I’m 16, and I’m looking at colleges, and I want to get a job, and a future. I really don’t want to check the box on applications that i’ve been arrested before, for being in a “park after dusk.” I was wondering if there’s anyway that I wouldn’t need to let colleges and jobs that I apply to be aware of this stupid arrest I got. Please help me, I’m really freaking out, college is just around the corner.
      Dear Maggie: Since you pleaded not guilty, you must have a hearing date coming up or a trial date. The court may appoint a public defender to represent you or your family can hire a lawyer to be with you in court. Since you’re a minor, you may be offered “diversion” which means when you finish some community service, the case will be dismissed and you won’t have a record. This shouldn’t have any affect on your future plans for college, employment, etc. If you weren’t taken into custody by the police, you weren’t arrested. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Elizabeth
      Fri, 22 Jul 2011 at 05:53

      When I was 16 years old I was arrested in Homestead, FL for credit care theft and fraud. To begin with I was giving many charges but on 2 diffferent cases, even though everything stemed from 1 arrest. I went to juvenile court here in Miami, FL and the court dismissed one case but left the 2nd one open and they reffered me to jass program. Iam aware of this NOW! I’ve been nursing as an LPN for 6 years and finished my RN in 2009. When I applied for my RN exam they denied me and said I have to wait 15 years from the incident. April of this year I had a random Level 2 background check and it revealed this juvenile record. I had to apply for an exemption with the Florida Board. The board is requesting info on the jass program…which unfortunately I never followed thru with. I was unaware of this program. From researching it now it says it’s voluntary and once you’re choose it a PO has to contact you. No one contacted me by letter, phone, or in person. And I know that I would of complied with anything they required of me. Can I go back now and fufill anything I didnt do? Can I ask the judge to hear this case again explaining the circumstances of my future? I tried to expunge but they will not allow me because there are 2 cases even though i was only arrested this 1 day. Is this legal? Holding a juvenile accountable for not following a jass program if they never contacted me? I need help..I’m very frustrated and dissapointed that all my hard work and studying to become a
      proffesional nurse is being overlooked because of 1 incident. If i would hire an attorney could he/she do anything in this matter? Any advice or legal tips would be very appreciated. Thank You.
      Dear Elizabeth: We suggest you contact a local criminal defense attorney about your situation. The specific laws of Florida and the rules of the court apply and must be studied to see how you go about resolving this. Many lawyers offer a free consultation for the first 30 minutes or so. Ask about this when you call the lawyer. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Elizabeth
      Fri, 22 Jul 2011 at 03:41

      Another question…Is it possible to expunge/seal a juvenile record that has 2 cases stemming from one arrest? And also, for employments purposes…the only charges that can be held against someone are those with a plea,..regardless of the disposition?
      Also if you’re found guilty by the court after trial, that would be on your record and you can ask for it to be expunged once you’re eligible to apply for expungement of your juvenile record. When you apply for it, you want your entire juvenile record destroyed. Read the questions on the expungement application carefully. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Allison
      Thu, 28 Jul 2011 at 03:38

      I am 17, will be 18 next month. When I was 15, I went through a depressing time in my life when my first relationship ended, and began cutting (just scrapes with a needle that drew drops of blood, no knives and no scars left behind). My mom made me stay at a hospital for the mentally unstable, and I saw a psychiatrist. I’m fine now, I graduated high school at 16 and I’m a sophomore in college at 17. I would say I’m pretty successful so far. However, I tried joining the Army National Guard a few weeks ago, and my hospital stay halted my MEPS progress. I was sent home after the second day because they found that in my history. I honestly didn’t think it would hinder their decision allowing me into the military because I was so young and probably just doing those things for attention. If I begin the MEPS process again after I turn 18, do you think my history as a minor will hinder it? Thanks.
      Dear Allison: We’re glad you’ve turned things around and are getting on with your life. Congratulations. The military may take a second look at your application once you turn 18 and are an adult. If you have or can obtain a letter from the treating doctor when you were 15, that may help – a medical clearance that could help with enlisting. Otherwise, speak with the recruiter and ask for an explanation about meeting their requirements to join. Good luck. Keep us posted on your efforts to serve the country.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Andy
      Fri, 29 Jul 2011 at 05:01

      Seeing how frequently and thoroughly you respond to question, I have three juvenile disorderly conducts, from 2 years ago. I was wondering if this could affect me joining the armed forces. If they ask the “ever convicted of a crime?” question will it look badly if i say no based on the wording
      Dear Andy: The wording is very important. If you were in juvenile court, you most likely weren’t “convicted.” You were probably “adjudicated delinquent” – there’s a difference. You may want to consider applying to the court for expungement of your juvenile record if you’re now 18. Check with the court about the process to do this. You don’t need a lawyer – it’s a simple form you file and the judge decides whether to grant your request or not. Take a look at the court’s web site for information, forms, filing fees, etc. You could also contact the probation officer assigned to you back then and ask about expungement. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • John
      Mon, 01 Aug 2011 at 08:55

      I need some help on my juvenile record because I am unsure on how it effects me now that I am 19. Back when I was 12-13 years old, me and some friends broke into a school and it ended up being an armed burglary charge. My juvenile record has 2 felonies and a petty theft. However, I have completed all of my community service demanded, and some. I moved to another state to live with my dad and done things like graduate high school and maintain legitimate jobs with no problem. Since 13 I have never been close to being in trouble. But now that I am back home where my problems originated, it seems much harder to find a job. Is my juvenile record open to employers that I am applying to? I would like to think that my juvenile record is irrelevant now and I am starting clean.
      Dear John: Every state has laws about juvenile records and expunging (destroying) them. Now that you’re back to the state where you got in trouble, contact the court to see what the expungement process involves. The court may have a website that you can check for information. It’s not a difficult process to apply and you don’t necessarily need a lawyer. However, you may have to be a certain age to apply for expungement of a felony (19 or older, for example). Juvenile records are usually not public but again every state differs. Google the name of your state and “juvenile records” for information on this. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Barbara
      Sun, 07 Aug 2011 at 01:49

      My son has a juvenile felony conviction: Vandalism damage of property over $400.00—this dollar amount makes it a felony in Calif believe it or not. Anyway, he is 21 now and serving in the military. No subsequent problems with the law. What are the drawbacks, if any, of sealing his Juvenile records? Someone told me that it is a “red flag” to future employers—that there is something you are hiding. What are the pros and cons in your opinion? And thank you for how you help so many people.
      Dear Barbara: The type of criminal background checks that many employers conduct are limited and do not include juvenile records. Juvenile records are typically “sealed” when the juvenile turns 18 or older, but some government employers and others may be able to see the juvenile record. The advantage of getting a juvenile record destroyed or expunged is that even if it appears in a background check, the final disposition will be “expunged” rather than showing “adjudicated” (in your son’s case). A potential employer who sees this may still have some questions, but by the record being expunged it means that a judge agreed to destroy the record based on the person’s compliance with his sentence, lack of additional criminal history, etc. For further information specific to the laws in your state, you may want to speak with a local criminal defense attorney. Good luck to you and your son and we thank him for his service to our country.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Melissa
      Mon, 08 Aug 2011 at 10:15

      When I was 14-15 years old I got into a fight with my mother and the neighbor heard the yelling and called the police. The police came and took me to the detention center because a bedroom window was broken. I saw the judge the next day and went home. My mom refused to bring me to the next court date so after finally getting down there I had to spend like 5 days in the juvenile detention center. After that I never had to follow up with the courts or even a probation officer. Ever since then I haven’t been in any trouble with the law. This incident was in Arizona and now I am 22 turning 23 in a few months and applying to become a teacher at my college so I have to go down to the highway patrol and get fingerprints done through Missouri highway patrol department. And I am pretty sure that it is a national check through the FBI because I’ll be applying to become a candidate as a teacher. Will this come up on my criminal background since I was a juvenile and this happened about 7 years ago?
      Dear Melissa: If you didn’t plead guilty to any charges or go to trial, you probably don’t have a record that would show up on a background check. You might want to contact the juvenile court you were in and ask about anything they have in their records. If something does show up, ask about expunging (destroying) your record. You don’t need a lawyer to do this. Many courts have online forms you can fill out and file. Google the name of the court you were in and check the court’s website about juvenile records. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Jerry
      Tue, 09 Aug 2011 at 10:24

      I am 53 years old and was in a lot of trouble between the ages of 12 & 14 (stealing,running away,skipping school ect). I went down to juvenile court a few weeks ago to talk to them about my record and they could not find anything on me and they checked everywhere. I am about to have a background check done and I wondering if it will show up, They tell me no, that it was destroyed and they will tell whoever samething they told me. I have never been fingerprinted or been in trouble as an adult. What do you think?
      Dear Jerry: It’s unlikely that anything will show up on a background check. Too much time has elapsed. We would have suggested that you apply to the court to have your record expunged (destroyed) but since they couldn’t find anything, there’s nothing to be done. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • johnny234
      Sat, 13 Aug 2011 at 01:38

      hello, im very interested in choosing my major in collegewhich is most likely criminal justice. with one major setback as a juvenille, i had a felony robbery charge with came along as a strike, im wondering how i could get this off my record four years down the line, or is there governemnt and or federal joibs that would see pass this and still chance of hire ?
      Dear Johnny234: The laws vary from state to state concerning the destruction of juvenile records. You could try asking the clerk of the court how to begin the process to request the expungement of your record. In some states, you may have to wait until you are 18 or even older before you can make this request. For the specific laws in your state, you could try Googling your state’s name and “destruction or expungement of juvenile record”. If you have stayed out of trouble since the incident and successfully completed the terms of your sentence, it is likely that a judge would grant a request to expunge your juvenile record. While it is true that some background checks, especially for certain federal or government jobs, may show that a prior record has been destroyed, an expunged record also shows that a judge reviewed all the circumstances of the case, criminal history, etc. and concluded that your record should be expunged. We wish you the best in college.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Justin C
      Mon, 15 Aug 2011 at 01:08

      Hey, I was very concerned in your opinion. Im 21 years old and when I was 17 I was charged with F2 Robbery and M1 Trespassing. those were my ONLY juvenile charges and I have not been in trouble with the law since. I was wondering If I could get into a Security guard trade or a Nurse assistant trade because I know working with security or in hospitals require fingerprints. What would be your outcome? and I already have the dispositions for my charges because I’m going to Job Corps. I just really would like to give back to the community. Help me out on your opinion. Thanks!
      Dear Justin: You may want to look into having your juvenile record expunged (destroyed). Juvenile offenses don’t usually show up on background checks but glitches do happen. So, to be safe check with the court you were in and see if you’re eligible to apply for expungement. Google the name of your state and “juvenile expungement” for details. The court may also have a website that you can go to for information. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Kayla
      Mon, 15 Aug 2011 at 02:46

      i am 16 and was talked into stealing. i talked with a probation officer & he said if i go to counseling (to get tested for bi-polar disorder) & attend a one day class my charge will be dismissed… what exaclty does this mean? can employers still sese it? how do i get it gone? Thanks!
      Dear Kayla: The probation officer is referring to “diversion.” That’s a program that requires an admission by you that you stole. Then when you complete some community service or attend a class/counseling, the case is dismissed and you don’t have a charge. If you have a court date, don’t miss it. Everything will be explained to you then. If you don’t have a hearing date yet, you may receive notice in the mail. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).
      BTW, are you also a Scotty McCreery chick?

    • Kayla
      Mon, 15 Aug 2011 at 07:33

      no i’m not scotty mccreery chick…but also… they said i wouldn’t go to court or anything…so will this still show up on my record? thanks!
      Dear Kayla: Probably not. Once you complete what the probation officer told you to do, the case will be closed and you won’t have a record.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Jane
      Tue, 16 Aug 2011 at 06:21

      My son and a few friends went into an empty house (door was open) and kicked some holes in the walls. They admitted to what they did and now they are being detained and charged with burglary. Should I get a lawyer?
      I’m sorry, forgot to add they are 13-14 yrs old and first offenders.
      Dear Jane: It’s entirely up to you whether to hire a lawyer now or wait until their first hearing in court. When you go to court with your son, the legal process will be explained to you. If he pleads not guilty, a public defender may be appointed to represent him. Since this is his first offense, he may be eligible for “diversion.” Once he completes the terms of diversion, the case will be dismissed and he won’t have a record. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Megan
      Wed, 17 Aug 2011 at 04:37

      Hello, I am 25 yrs old who was just convicted of a felony charge which was dropped to petty larceny (misdemeanor)with 5 months 29days jail suspension. Along with 40 hours of community service. This is my 1st offense; i have never been in trouble; never had a ticket. I have always been a good and educated person. Well, The prosecutor offered my attorney a deal of guilty plea with lesser charge and my attorney and I agreed. My attorney tried to ask the prosecutor of my case being dropped after 12months of good behavior but the prosecutor did not agree to that. So the judge asked both sides if thats what we aggred to and we all said yes. I would like to know if its possible for me to write the judge appologizing for my wrong act; requesting maybe more community service hours with good behavior of 12 months and then have the case dismissed. This is because i am graduating nursing school in may 2012 and i just found out in the state of viginia, you cannot be a licensed RN with any type of crime dealing with moral turpitude. No exception. This is something i will never do again, i was really depressed at the time and i was on Accutane which caused my depression. I did the unthinkable and regret it so much.
      Dear Megan: We are an educational website for & about teenagers and the laws that affect them. We don’t provide legal advice to adults or teens.
      Since you had a lawyer representing you in this case, you need to speak with him/her about modifying the agreement. Explain your reasons for your request and the court and prosecutor may take it into consideration. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Jake
      Wed, 17 Aug 2011 at 12:01

      When i was 15 i was arrested in the state of California for Arson. it was an end of the school year practical joke, no one was hurt 65 dollars in damage. went to court and was convicted of arson served 6 months probation and paid my restitution. im now 37 years old with no other criminl run ins with the law. i served in the Army and am a decorated combat veteran who is trying to get into law enforcement. My record has since been sealed and i have purchased firearms, so i know that they background checked me but i dont know if the check goes that deep. First question is what is the difference between expunged and sealed? If the record is sealed does it get destroyed or is there a special process to request that? On law enforcement applications do i have to check that i was arrested? How can i check to see the status without drawing attention to the past? Will this stupid mistake haunt me the rest of my life? I would like to think that i have made amends for my past mistakes. Please help cant really find any straight answers anywhere.
      Dear Jake: Every state has its own laws regarding the sealing and expungement of records, both adult and juvenile. A sealed record is just that: unavailable to anyone unless disclosure is ordered by a court. Expungement means “destroyed.” Take a look at this government website for information about the process in California:
      http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp/other/crimlawclean.htm
      The function of a juvenile court is to rehabilitate minors so that they become law-abiding citizens making a contribution to society. Most cases involving errors of youth remain in the past. Read all questions on any application closely – language is important. For example, you may not have been “convicted” as a juvenile – you were probably “adjudicated delinquent.” Answer truthfully and consult a lawyer if you have any questions. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • ryan
      Wed, 17 Aug 2011 at 02:04

      When I was 17 I was arrested for burglary in California, however, the case never went to court. I am 19 now and had one infraction for underage drinking in another state when I was 18. I currently reside in California and am wondering if that arrest will show up on a background check when I employ for jobs; keep in mind I have no interest in working for law enforcement. Also, is it worth trying to get my record sealed even though there was no conviction?
      Dear Ryan: If you never went to court on the burglary and weren’t convicted of anything, there shouldn’t be a record that would appear on a background check. You can always contact the court in the area where this happened and ask if they have anything on record under your name. The alcohol infraction shouldn’t affect your future education or employment plans. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • delilah
      Sun, 21 Aug 2011 at 07:31

      hi i’m 19 and i live in conneticut i was arrested numeros times as a juvenile. the charges were disturbing the peace, escape from custody, and domestic violence. the last time i was arrested was in 2008 do you think i would be able to have my record destroyed?
      Dear Delilah: It is possible for you to have your record sealed or expunged. It depends on a number of factors that you’ll have to look into regarding the specific crimes on your record and state law about expungement. You may have to wait until you’re 21 or even older if any of the crimes were felonies. Take a look at Connecticut’s government website on this subject here:
      http://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/Law/criminal.htm
      You could also contact the court you were in or go to their website and review the information about juvenile records. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • WENDY WILLIAMS
      Tue, 23 Aug 2011 at 01:42

      Dear Tom: My son who is now 23 years old was tried as a juvenille and given 2 strikes. When he was tried he was 15 years old. He was released from parole early and has had no adult arrests. He was arrested recently for getting into a car to car altercation unbeknownst to him the driver of the other car was an undercover police office. My son threw an empty juice bottle at their car because he believed they were following him and harrassing him. They are charging him with Assault with a Deadly weapon. my question is can they bring up the 2 strikes he received as a juvenille?
      Dear Wendy: That depends on the laws in the state where this took place. They may be able to use his past record at sentencing for this offense for the purpose of enhancing his punishment. Once he’s in court for this, he may be appointed a public defender or he can hire private defense counsel to represent him. The attorney will know how to deal with his juvenile record. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Alyssa
      Tue, 23 Aug 2011 at 04:09

      okay thank you so much! so if i do not qualify for the diversion program does it automatically just get put on my record? and if it does is it on my record forever? or is there something else i can do to keep it off my record? thats my number one fear because i really wanna have a future and its impossible to get one with a misdemenor on my record:(
      Dear Alyssa: If diversion isn’t available to you and you go through the court process, you can apply to have your record sealed or expunged after you successfully complete the terms ordered by the judge. So, if you’re placed on short-term probation and have to do some work hours or attend a class, once completed you can request that your record be cleared. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Ben
      Tue, 23 Aug 2011 at 11:35

      Hi judge,

      When I was 19 I was arrested for possession of a controlled substance…heroin. I my case was dropped under DEJ am’d since then I have remained sober and been involved in a 12 step program. I’m currently finishing up my BA and work as a swim coach as well as other various internships. I am interested in joining the navy and attempting to become a seal. I would need to qualify for secret clearance. Will my record withhold me from accomplishing this goal. I was working for the census bureau and was fired after 6 weeks because they found I had a record. I don’t want my record to follow me around for the rest of my life.
      Thank you for your help sir
      I forgot to mention I live in California and I am now 23.
      Dear Ben: First, congratulations on cleaning up your life since this incident at age 19. There are several things you can do to clear your record if you’re eligible to apply at this time. Check this government website for information about sealing and/or expunging records:
      http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp/other/crimlawclean.htm
      Every state has its own laws regarding the process for clearing criminal records. You can also check the court’s website for information on this. It may even have a online form for you to complete and file. You don’t necessarily need a lawyer to do this and there may be a filing fee with the court. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Michael
      Wed, 24 Aug 2011 at 09:36

      Hello,

      I am an Illinois State University student. I am from Illinois and I currently am applying for my internship to police departments. I was arrested at 20 years old for possession of a pot pipe and for underage cuisumption of alcohol. I was completely honest with the cop and I was arrestes and recieved tickets for both offenses. Do you know if the offenses are off of my record since they were only tickets? Also, if they are on my record, will it affect me getting accepted into an internship with a police department? Thank you!
      Dear Michael: Check with the court you were in to see if they have a record of these incidents. If they do, ask about the process for expunging your record. You can also take a look at this government website for specific information about criminal records in Illinois: http://www.icjia.state.il.us/public/index.cfm?metasection=about&metapage=icjiafaq
      You may not have a record if you completed a diversion program for these tickets. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Aziraphale
      Thu, 25 Aug 2011 at 05:25

      Hi, when i was 16 i was charged with criminal mischief 1. and i would like to know how hard it would be to get my record expunged, and if that would affect me going into the army rangers in a year?
      Dear Aziraphale: First, you may want to call the court and ask for a copy of your record as it’s possible that you completed a diversion program for the charge and therefore, should not have a record. If it remains on your juvenile record, you could ask the clerk of the court how to begin the process to get your record destroyed or expunged. In some states, you may have to wait until you are 18 or even older before you can make this request. For the specific laws in your state, you could try Googling your state’s name and “destruction or expungement of juvenile record”. If you have stayed out of trouble since the incident and successfully completed the terms of your sentence, it is likely that a judge would grant a request to expunge your juvenile record. This shouldn’t affect your ability to go into the Army especially if the charge has been dismissed or is expunged and since it’s on your juvenile record rather than adult. However, you should try contacting a recruiting officer about this as they would be able to tell you whether your record would be any issue. Take care and good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • javierj
      Thu, 25 Aug 2011 at 08:53

      Hi, my name is Javier when I was 12 years of age I was charged of menacing felony class 5 for simulated weapon, when I was 14 I also was charged with class 5b felony for controlled substance so they committed me to DYC for two years in Denver,CO will I be able to get my record sealed so I can be enlist?
      Dear Javier: Take a look at this website for information about sealing/expunging a record in Colorado. You can also contact the court you were in and ask about expungement. The court may have online forms to apply for expungement. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Lucero
      Fri, 26 Aug 2011 at 10:54

      Hi my name is Lucero. I was arrested (mesquite texas) and was charged (theft 50) for my case. i was 17 at the time but was going to turn 18 about a month later. I was out on bail bond the next day. I declared no consent. well when i got out i payed and completed a theft program and did comunitity service. my case was dismissed. I always that that my recored would be cleard or expenged since i was 17 at the moment. now i am 19 will be 20 in october. I recently had a job interview for bank of america and passd it. passed the background info, then was shceduald for fingerprints and answerd no to all crimianl questions since i thought it would be off.. After this i was told my record was unsatisfactory and wasnt able to get the job. The thing is, i thought my record would be gone by now? why is it still coming up? what do i have to do to clear it? Or expunge? I would really appriciate more information on my case and what i should do so it will nor affect me in the future. Thank you
      Dear Lucero: The laws vary from state to state concerning the destruction of juvenile records. You could try asking the clerk of the court how to begin the process to request the expungement of your record. In some states, you may have to wait until you are 18 or even older before you can make this request. For the specific laws in your state, you could try Googling “Texas destruction or expungement of juvenile record”. If you have stayed out of trouble since the incident and successfully completed the terms of your sentence, it is likely that a judge would grant a request to expunge your juvenile record. We wish you the best in your job search.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Chris
      Sat, 27 Aug 2011 at 11:09

      Hi. When I was 15 (I turn 26 in october) I was charged with CSC2 in the State of Michigan. I was successfully released from a 2 year treatment program in 2005 and have not been in trouble with the law since. I was on the sex offender registry for 10 years (7 years as an adult) before Michigan changed their laws regarding who is kept on it. I fell into one of the tiers that do not require me to register anymore. I have hard a very hard time looking for jobs as I was continually denied because of my record. Since I am no longer on the registry and charged when I was 15, will my record show up on a criminal background check?
      Dear Chris: Juvenile records do not show up on all background checks, but it’s possible especially for jobs dealing with children, government or federal jobs. Try contacting the court and request a copy of your record so you can see exactly what appears on it. You may want to inquire about getting your record expunged as well since you’ve stayed out of trouble and it’s been more than 10 years since the date of offense. For more information about the specific laws in your state, you could try Googling “Michigan destruction or expungement of juvenile record.” Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Amilia
      Sun, 28 Aug 2011 at 01:59

      At 16 I was with a group of girls that damaged a car with tomatoes and flour, which I didnt know about until after they did it bc I was back in the driveway and only put mustard on the driveway (which washed away by morning and isnt in the police report). My parents wanted to fight my charges in court, but we were told to pay the restitution and agree to teencourt in wisconsin and my record would be saved. The agreement seemed like the safest choice incase i wasnt found innocent, but im 19 now and tried to join the navy and my background check came back with a juvenile record, I released it to them (since that was the only way to join) but it showed my restitution was over $500 which means i cant join without jumping through some hoops. I also got pulled over by a sheriff and he commented on my “criminal damage of property” that showed up in his computer.. Is there anything I can do to fix this since I was never actually charged and trying to better myself but this keeps on somehow showing up? Im at my wits end on what to do since something im actually innocent of keeps showing up..
      Dear Amilia: Try contacting the court where the original charges were filed and ask for a copy of your record, so you can see exactly what appears on it. If by any chance the charges were not dismissed like you believed them to be, then you could request that your record be destroyed or expunged. In some states, teen court may result in the case being kept out of the juvenile justice system so there is no record. Other states may file charges which remain pending while the case proceeds through teen court. A record may show the original charges that were filed, but that they were ultimately dismissed. If this is the case, you could try asking the clerk of the court if there is any way to completely expunge your record. Best of luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Valerie
      Mon, 29 Aug 2011 at 12:53

      Hi when i was 15, i ran away from a cop because i was really scared. I was in my freshman yr of high school(took place during finals, early release) and I was going to pick up my little sister from middle school, but they were still in session(told me to leave) so i did(walked to the nearby 711 to get something to drink and wait till school finished). Then a few minutes afterschool, i was walking towards the front to meet my little sister so we could head home and he stopped me, and started screaming at me to give him my name and that he was going to arrest me(he said i was traspassing and was going to arrest me if i didnt co-operate, which i did, or at least tried to because honestly i couldnt think at all and was crying). So he treatened me and started pulling out the handcuffs cuz i wasnt responding fast enough to his questions(my name, age, etc) and it didnt help that he was doing this infront of all of the moms and kids so when he turned around to get something i ran(let my imaginatioin go wild and thought it was a gun or tazer). So now I have a misdemeanor for running away and was wondering how or if i can get it removed? I want my record to be completely cleared and want to know if this is possible? I never went to court for it, and instead did community service(volunteered at my church, which i was already doing). I am not over 18 yet but ive heard that it gets cleared when i turn 18? If possible i would like to clear it as of now(am now 16 and will turn 17 soon), because i am unable to volunteer anymore because of it.(i love giving back to the community and it sucks that i cant do this anymore) like help at the animal shelter, and am currently wanting to volunteer at the elderly home near my school but they do background cks. pls help!
      Dear Valerie: Since you never went to court over the matter, you most likely completed a diversion program and do not have a record from the incident. Try contacting either the court if charges were originally filed in one or the probation department or whoever you reported to with your community service hours. Explain your question and ask for a copy of your record so you can see whether or not anything appears on it. Based on what you’ve described here, it sounds like you most likely do not have record. However, if you do have a record, you could ask the clerk of the court how you can get your record expunged. In some states, you may have to wait until you are 18 or even older before you can make this request. For the specific laws in your state, you could try Googling your state’s name and “destruction or expungement of juvenile record”. Also, any background checks conducted by the animal shelter or the retirement home most likely do not include juvenile records and are probably interested in any felony convictions. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Si
      Mon, 29 Aug 2011 at 02:15

      Hi, when I was 16, turning 17, I had been I guess I was arrested for apparently solliciting child pornography. It apparently had been some sting operation, with them pretending to be a 19 year old with pics of a 14 year old. I had my picture taken at the station, but not my fingerprints, and they never actually told me what I was charged for, and they ended up just driving me home and letting me go, and never told my parents what had completely happened, just that I was having inapropriate contact with others over the internet. Afterwards, one of the sergeants told me that If I talked to the school councelor and had some counseling, they wouldn’t press any legal actions at all. Is there any thing in my record? If so, can I get them expunged?
      Dear Si: Since you never went to court over the matter, charges were not filed against you. In your case, it doesn’t sound like you completed a diversion program if you never had to report back to anyone – the police department, probation, etc. about your counseling. Therefore, you most likely do not have any record. To confirm this, you could try calling the police department and explain the circumstances and ask for a copy of your record to make sure nothing is on it. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • nikki
      Mon, 29 Aug 2011 at 07:33

      Hi, I am about to get a divorce and have a custody battle over my 4 month old son. I live in Oklahoma, and I was wondering if mental institutions, crime charges, and rehab while my 21 year old husband was a minor could help out my case? & if a lawyer could get ahold of those files.
      Dear Nikki: The bottom line when it comes to child custody and visitation is “best interests of the child.” A judge will want to know everything relevant to making this decision. No judge wants to put a child in danger of abuse or neglect. Discuss this with your lawyer who will know how to deal with your husband’s history and whether it should be brought to the court’s attention. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Jon
      Wed, 31 Aug 2011 at 11:40

      I have a question, I had received 2 minor in possessions of alcohol at the age of 15 in the State of Michigan, I finished probation and am now 20 years old. I just received another MIP for alcohol which is my first one since I was 15 years old. The court can for some reason see my old MIPs and are now charging me with MIP 3rd offense…. When I was younger they told me that those charges would not show up let alone be stackable….can they legally count my other 2 while I was a minor and charge me as a habitual offender….!????
      Dear Jon: An MIP (minor in possession of alcohol) charge is not one that disappears when you turn 18 because the legal drinking age across the country is 21. It’s not just an offense that a juvenile commits. So, yes, under most state laws this recent incident may be counted as your third violation and handled accordingly. Google “Michigan minor in possession of alcohol” for more information about this. You can also read Michigan’s law here:
      http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(m5wjqc45b42mpsvh0v33dkme))/mileg.aspx?page=GetObject&objectname=mcl-436-1703
      Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Marie
      Wed, 31 Aug 2011 at 03:00

      Hello, I’m 15 and in May I shoplifted a $10 dollar shirt from JCPenny thinking nothing would happen. I got caught of course and was beyond embarassed, cried my eyes out, and learned my lesson for sure! My mom paid the 140 dollar ticket to avoid further action (jail time). Now im wondering do i have a record? If so, when I turn 16 in a few months will i be able to get a work permit? If i can, when i apply for a job will I have a criminal background?
      Dear Marie: It sounds like the store decided to handle this incident as a civil matter rather than press criminal charges against you. Since you’ve paid the fine you probably won’t hear anything further about this. You don’t have a “record” to worry about. The only record is with the store in the event you return and shoplift again. If the store banned you from returning, don’t. Otherwise you could be charged with trespassing. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • ryan
      Thu, 01 Sep 2011 at 04:10

      Hi, I asked a question earlier about being arrested in California for burglary as a juvenile in which charges were never filed. It was my understanding that arrests can be discovered if a company does a live scan on me; however, when police took me in they neither fingerprinted nor photographed me, so technically, was I even arrested and will this show up on this kind of background check? any help would be greatly appreciated
      Dear Ryan: Whether you were officially “arrested” depends on the legal definition of the term under California law. Generally, a person is arrested when told by the officer that they are being taken into custody or the acts of the officer indicate that one’s freedom to leave is suspended. However, there are certain circumstances where a person can be “detained” for an on-the-scene investigation without being formally arrested. You can check with the police department where this took place and ask about a record existing and/or the juvenile court you would have gone to if charges had been filed. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • ryan
      Thu, 01 Sep 2011 at 06:47

      going back to my question, the FBI wouldn’t have record of the arrest since I wasn’t fingerprinted at the police station correct?; because I read that police stations forward their fingerprints to the FBI and DOJ.
      It’s highly unlikely that the FBI or Department of Justice has any record of this incident.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • ali
      Fri, 02 Sep 2011 at 01:00

      I was charged with failure to drive with due care for crashing into a guy’s mirror on the highway. I was going to correct speed limit, but got distracted so since his car was going faster than mine, he hit my car when I slightly went into his lane (I think he was edging toward my lane too). Anyways, if I pay the fine, does that mean I was convicted of a misdemeanor? On the common application, it says: Have you ever been adjudicated guilty or convicted of a misdemeanor, felony, or other crime? Note that you are not required to answer “yes” to this question, or provide an explanation, if the criminal adjudication or conviction has been expunged, sealed, annulled, pardoned, destroyed, erased, impounded, or otherwise ordered by a court to be kept confidential.
      How should I answer this question if i just received a petty misdemeanor? Should I go to court and ask them to hide this charge? Should I go to court and try to remove the charge? I don’t know what to do… and I dont want this to ruin my chances of getting into college.
      Dear Ali: The ticket should explain whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or infraction of the traffic laws. If there is a statute cited on the ticket, Google the name of your state and the number of the law that you’re charged with violating for information. The ticket should also explain the consequences of paying the fine – whether it’s an admission or not. We can’t advise you about what to do, but recommend you speak with a lawyer before acting. You can also wait until the court date and discuss this with a probation/court officer or the judge. If you plead not guilty, the court may appoint a lawyer to represent you. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • John K
      Fri, 02 Sep 2011 at 07:53

      In florida was told after I received my charges that once I turned 18 they would go into a sealed file, is this the same thing as having them destroyed or what?
      Dear John: There is a difference between sealing a record and destroying one. Take a look at this Florida government website for information about the process to clear your record.
      http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/content/getdoc/c83dd888-ef7a-448e-9a96-ba69fc4181f7/Seal-and-Expunge-Home.aspx
      Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice)

    • ryan
      Sun, 04 Sep 2011 at 08:40

      If I am arrested as a juvenile in california and never went to court, are my juvenile police records public?
      Dear Ryan: Juvenile records are not usually “public”. In fact, they are typically sealed once a person turns 18 or so. In your case, you may have a juvenile arrest record, but since you never went to court, there’s no record of a conviction or otherwise out of juvenile court. It is likely that your arrest may be discovered by law enforcement agencies, but generally should not be accessible. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Kelsey
      Tue, 06 Sep 2011 at 12:53

      Hi Judge,
      I am 17 years old I got caught with shoplifting. I turn 18 tomorrow, I have not had a court date yet. Will they charge me as an adult even though I wasn’t 18 when it happened? The police officer told me that this offense will go on my juvenile record. But this officer already lied to me about not getting into trouble by just returning it to the store. I live in the state of West Virginia. I have never done anything like this in my life. Please just let me know what to expect.

      Thank you,
      Kelsey
      Dear Kelsey: Each state handles shoplifting incidents according to their laws. Take a look at this website for information regarding the West Virginia shoplifting statutes:
      http://law.justia.com/codes/west-virginia/2009/61/61-3a-3.html
      As a legal adult, it is unlikely you’ll be in juvenile court for this. But you can still avoid getting an adult record if this is your first offense and you admit what happened. You may be eligible for a “diversion program.” Once you complete the terms of diversion, the charge will be dismissed and you won’t have a record. This will be explained to you when you go to court. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Ryan
      Wed, 07 Sep 2011 at 12:59

      When i was 17 i raked up a few charges in Arizona a few are suspect charges and im not sure how they will afect me in the future. I also have a felony i committed when i was 17 it was AG assault with a deadly weapon, threatening and intimidation and domestic violence, the DV was against a sibling i know that makes a difference. i plead guilty to disorderly conduct a class 6 open and when i violated probation it went to a class 6 felony and i did one year in prison and the dv was dismissed. i am now in the military on my third tour in 5 years im getting out but i dont know if i can get all of that expunged or in az a”set aside”. is it possible for me to have all my rights restored? and would i be able to go into law enforcement? i am now 26 and have been out of prison since i was 20 for a crime i did when i was 17.
      Dear Ryan: First thanks for your service to our country.
      We suggest that you contact your last probation or parole officer about these issues. Or contact your public defender or private counsel, whoever represented you on these charges. You can also go to the court’s website and see if there is information for the public about expungement. Arizona Community Legal Services provides the following information on this subject:
      http://www.azlawhelp.org/articles_info.cfm?sc=66&mc=13&articleid=147
      Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Levi Chapman
      Wed, 07 Sep 2011 at 03:52

      Hi. I live in West Virginia and my question is, does and improvement period expire once you turn 18.. The incident happened when i was 17 and Im still 17, but the court hasn’t sentenced me yet. They was wanting to put me on an improvement period. I turn 18 september 23rd so my question is an improvement period end or exprire once I turn 18 from where im not a juvenile no longer.
      Dear Levi: Check with the probation officer assigned to you when this started. He or she will know how long juvenile court jurisdiction lasts and if it affects you. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • John C
      Wed, 07 Sep 2011 at 08:51

      Hi, I’m 20 in Texas, I just got EMT certified and I’m about to apply for a Texas EMT license. I received an Minor in Possession citation after getting certified and before submitting the application. I am still on probation and fulfilling my deferred disposition requirements. The document the court gave me says that when this is completed “the court shall dismiss the complaint and there is no final conviction, and the complaint may not be used against the defendant for any purpose.”
      Does this mean that I do not/will not have to admit to being convicted or found guilty of a misdemeanor? That’s correct – completing a diversion program means you won’t have a record that would appear on a background check
      Would I still have to admit that I have received a deferred disposition? only if asked that specific question – always be truthful
      Will it stay on my record and will need to get it expunged when I turn 21? that depends on your state laws. Check the court’s website for information about this.
      Should I wait until the deferral period is over to submit my application? That is your decision. Once you complete the program, you can check to see if a record exists and take care of it through the court if one does. Then you can submit your application without stressing about what might show up.
      I am not against telling the truth, I’d just rather avoid giving unessential information. We agree and there is a difference. Good luck.Thank you for your time.
      This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Matthew
      Thu, 08 Sep 2011 at 07:23

      Okay. About two weeks ago, I got caught trying to steal about 15 dollars worth of merchandise from a wal-mart. I’m supposed to receive a fine in about a couple weeks. Unfortunately, I want to apply at a Target store, because I’ve always wanted to work there and help people out with their purchases and restock shelves and stuff. Mostly because I don’t like doing cashier work and things like that. I have never shoplifted before nor do I intend to do it ever again. I’m 17, turning 18 next year in January, and live in California. I want to know, is it possible that when I turn 18, the record will be expunged automatically? Or do I have to go through the petition process? I’ve never committed any other crimes of any kind, and I would just like to get it off my record as quickly and easily as possible. Also, does Target or any other employer have access to that information? I need a job, and I don’t want to put down that I shoplifted before, if I don’t have to.
      Dear Matthew: If you don’t have to go to court and you didn’t receive a ticket for this incident, you won’t get an official record that would show up on a background check. The letter you receive may be what is called a “civil demand” from either the store or their attorney. It may be several hundred dollars. Once it’s paid, the only record that exists is with the store in the event you return and steal again. A civil demand is a fine that stores can impose on shoplifters instead of pressing charges. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Kay G.
      Thu, 08 Sep 2011 at 07:49

      My 17 yr. old son was caught with two other boys smoking pot outside on a college campus. The officer gave them all a ticket to appear in court for possession of pot. We have a court date to see the judge. Since this happened I have been home drug testing him to make sure this never happens again. Will the judge seal this so now colleges or military will see this and cause him to not get scholarships or be accepted? I am very fearful of this and I want to make sure he attends college and the only way is through scholarships. Very upset and I am in the state of Colorado. What do I do?
      Dear Kay: If this is your son’s first offense, he may be eligible for a “diversion program.” Once he completes diversion, the case will be closed and he won’t have a record. So any background check will be clear assuming there’s nothing else in his past. When you go to court, ask the probation officer or public defender about this. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Karen Robinson
      Thu, 08 Sep 2011 at 09:07

      I have a son who is 18 years old. He had some trouble as a juvenille. Charges he got at school for fighting and a burgarly of a habitat all when he was between 14-15, I believe. He went and talked to a recruiter and they told him he didn’t qualify, but when the judge sent him to a juvenille detention center, he imformed me that when he got 18 his record would be ajudicated. We live in the state of Texas. What should we do to try to get him in the military? Or can nothing be done for him to enlist.
      Dear Karen: Each branch of the Armed Services has its own requirements for enlistment. Most if not all turn down applicants with a juvenile record. You can look into applying to clear his record through the expungment process. Juvenile records usually don’t automatically disappear when someone turns 18. If he is eligible for expungement, he can apply to the court in person or possible through the court’s website. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Tayler
      Fri, 09 Sep 2011 at 03:03

      I’m 17 and live in Michigan. I was just recently within the last week caught shoplifting, I was given a ticket and a court date. I’m wondering what happens with my record and since it is a misdemeanor if it stays on my record AFTER I am 18.
      Dear Tayler: If this is your first offense, you may be offered some type of diversion program. This means that upon successful completion of community service hours, payment of a fine/restitution and attending a class or counseling, the case will be closed and the charges dismissed. Therefore, you would not have a record for the incident. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Kay G.
      Fri, 09 Sep 2011 at 05:50

      I have another question…little confused. This is my son’s first offense (has never done anything else) so what is the difference between having his offense expunged like you mentioned to others or seeing if he is eligible for a diversion program? Is expunging for 18yrs. old and a diversion program for under 18? And which is better and quicker to get offense clear so no one can see it. We are definitely in a time crunch seeing that he needs to start filling out college scholarships and applications (which I don’t want them to see this). Thanks again!
      Dear Kay: For more information about diversion programs (sometimes called deferred prosecution or judgment), click here. First time offenders for misdemeanors and lower level offenses are often offered diversion. You will find out whether diversion is an option in your son’s case when he goes to court. If it is an option, you will not need to worry about getting his record expunged since the result of diversion is dismissed charges, so there is no record. If diversion is not an option, then he could ask the court to expunge his record once he successfully completes the terms of his sentence.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • julio
      Mon, 12 Sep 2011 at 10:04

      my friend got caught smoking weed at 17 was taken to jail and parents had to go get him out does that stay on his record for a certain amount of time?
      Dear Julio: It could stay on your friend’s record depending on how the case was resolved. First time offenders often are offered diversion programs and as long as they successfully complete the terms of the program, the charges are dismissed and therefore, there is no criminal record. Your friend needs to find out how his case was resolved. He could ask for a copy of his record to see exactly what appears on it. If he has a record from the incident, he could go back to the court and ask for his record to be destroyed or expunged.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Chris
      Tue, 13 Sep 2011 at 07:20

      I’m from EL Cajon, CA and I’m 15 years old and a sophmore in high school. I got arrested today for ditching class and “evading arrest” because I ran and I didn’t realize a police officer was chasing me. I was given a 2 day suspension from my school and I will be getting a paper in the mail for court. Can I argue in court that I did not realize it was a police officer chasing me? Because the officer knows that too. What will happen when I go to court?
      Dear Chris: You will have an opportunity to speak with a court or probation officer when you go to court and can explain your side of the story. If this is your first offense, it is likely that you will be offered some type of diversion program. This means that upon successful completion of community service, payment of a fine and possibly attending a class, the charges will be dismissed and you will not have a record for the incident. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Mason
      Wed, 14 Sep 2011 at 08:43

      Hi, when i was age of 13 (a minor) i was found “responsible” not convicted to what i understand for felony 3 gross sexual imposition. will i be able to enlist in the airforce . i currently reside in the state of ohio. please awnser
      Dear Mason: First, you may want to contact the juvenile court and request a copy of your record so you can see exactly what appears on it. Then try contacting a recruiter and ask whether your juvenile record will be an issue at all. You could go back to the court once you’re 18 or so and request that your juvenile record be destroyed or expunged. Best of luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • edgar trujillo
      Thu, 15 Sep 2011 at 08:13

      hi my name is edgar and i was just wondering if you can clean my record to join the military? I got arrested when i was 17 for posession of marijuana,I talked to a recruiter but they said i’m disqualified because of my record, and that i can’t join until i clear my record. I’m just trying to serve my country and become someone in life.
      Dear Edgar: The laws vary from state to state concerning the destruction of juvenile records. You could try asking the clerk of the court how to begin the process to request the expungement of your record. In some states, you may have to wait until you are 18 or even older before you can make this request. For the specific laws in your state, you could try Googling your state’s name and “destruction or expungement of juvenile record”. If you have stayed out of trouble since the incident and successfully completed the terms of your sentence, it is likely that a judge would grant a request to expunge your juvenile record. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • zamoni berry
      Fri, 16 Sep 2011 at 12:59

      Expunging Juvenile Records | Askthejudge http://t.co/d3bc7lVm

    • Fran
      Fri, 16 Sep 2011 at 02:27

      Judge Tom,
      Question from a mother in SC:

      My son has charges against him for ABHAN. The law has taken the word of the supposed victim, who happens to be my sons cousin. They have never liked each other. From the very begining no one, except our lawyer, has questioned my son about the supposed incident. He was immediately assumed guilty from her word only. They never questioned any of the other witnesses.

      My son has refused plea bargains. He refuses any kind of deal that would even suggest that he admit he is guilty.

      After a little over 2 years the charges are being dropped by the prosecutor. The supposed victim has decided she does not want to testify. My son has sworn his innocence from the begining. His recount of the events have never changed.

      My son is already very active in JRROTC and wants to make a career in the military. My husband is retired military, so we know that for high security clearance they check your juvenile records. We want the records to be destroyed since the case is not going to court and being dropped. Our lawyer claims that we have to wait till he is 18 and have them expunged. My understanding is if the prosecutor does not have a case and is willing to drop the charges than my son should not have a record to be expunged. The paperwork is being handled between the prosecutor and our lawyer. Does this need to go before a judge to get the records destroyed before he is 18?

      Thank you,
      Dear Fran: When charges are dropped by a prosecutor, typically a motion to dismiss or something similar is filed in court and the charges aren’t officially dismissed until the judge signs the order dismissing them. Therefore, there should be a record through the court that the charges have been dismissed (once the judge signs the order). Since the charges are being dismissed, there will not be a record to expunge. However, depending on the laws of your state, the arrest and/or original charges may continue to appear on his juvenile record during a background check, but the final disposition should say “dismissed”. Whether or not you can expunge the original charges from appearing at all will depend on the laws of your state as well as the policies of your court. Ask your son’s lawyer about this or contact the court, explain the circumstances and find out whether his juvenile record will continue to show the original charges and if so, what can be done. Best of luck to you and your son.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Askthejudge.info
      Fri, 16 Sep 2011 at 06:26

      @ZBadAf_B Thx for the tweet! > Expunging Juvenile Records | Askthejudge http://t.co/pvFCm2sb

    • sarah
      Fri, 16 Sep 2011 at 11:16

      if someone got arrested as a juvenile for battery and he seals his record … can he still qualify to get an arms guard card in the state of California … if his record is sealed ?
      Dear Sarah: We’re uncertain what an arms guard card is, but whether you are referring to a firearms permit or something different like becoming a security guard, your friend will need to either look at the laws of your state for obtaining a firearams permit or look at the policies of the company he is hoping to obtain the arms guard card through. A sealed juvenile record is not necessarily the same as an expunged record. Depending on what he finds out, he may need to file a request with the court to expunge his record. Good luck to your friend.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Dan
      Sat, 17 Sep 2011 at 09:52

      Sir,

      I was admitted to a mental health facility by my own wishes as a juvenile and it was not court-ordered. The local sheriffs dept provided transportation as my parents refused. This happened when I was 17. When I was 21, I applied for a MN permit to purchase a handgun and the sheriff’s dept denied the permit on the grounds of the above incident. When I was also 17 years old, I recieved a minor consumption of alcohol charge; however, that was my only charge, ever. After the denial, I contacted the sheriffs dept to ask why I had been denied. The deputy that had transported me to the facility four years prior answered the phone and would not allow me to speak with the sheriff. He stated that he had remembered bringing me to the facility and this is why I was denied the permit. The sheriff’s dept agreed to possibly grant me the permit if I would go to the hospital, have my records of the incident relased to them, and turn it into the sheriffs dept for review. I retrieved the records and read them. The information contained within the records was of a very personal nature so I never turned it in. Now, I am 29 years old. I am nearing an honorable discharge from military law enforcement service. I will be returning to the same county where I previously resided. Upon my return, I would like to apply for a permit to carry concealed so I can protect myself and family. I have fears of denial though I am completing a spotlessless term of military service and have absolutely no criminal record nor mental health issues. If I am denied this permit, can I appeal it? Is it legal to deny me a permit because a deputy recalls providing transportation for me to a mental health facility when I was a minor? I just don’t think it’s right. I am one of the most level-headed people I know and have carried a military issue weapons on duty for four years. I thought that non court-ordered juvenile mental health records were completely confidential.
      Dear Dan: We suggest you try contacting a local attorney in your area who handles civil rights issues. Whether you can appeal the denial will depend on gun laws in your state. You may be able to reapply as several years have passed since you first applied and now that you have served in the military for so many years, perhaps your application will not be denied. Click here for more information about the requirements to purchase a handgun in Minnesota. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • isabel
      Sat, 17 Sep 2011 at 10:48

      when i was 17 i received a truancy ticket. i showed up to court and they gave me community service hours. i never completed them and showed up for my second court date.

      what should i do? would this be wiped off my record because i’m now 18?
      Dear Isabel: The charge may be dismissed now that you’re 18, but not necessarily. Since you failed to appear for your court date, a warrant could have been issued. It would be best to contact the court, expalin that you are confused about your case and ask whether there are any charges pending. If they are pending, you may need to show up to court and find out what needs to be done in order for the case to be closed. Don’t ignore it because it could make matters worse. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • mimi
      Sat, 17 Sep 2011 at 08:28

      hi my name iz mimi im 19 i have a felony since i was 15 bt did not finish it i only had like 2 months left i think i really dont remember um wat i want too know is that can i go to jail still i want to pay it off but im scared if i call theyll take me to jail n i cant afford that cause i got a baby gurl n i cant leave her with no one and another thing can this affect me going to college im getting my ged already n want to go to hcc den study trying to become a nurse so i can do something right in my life for me n my daughter..please help me if yuh can thank you…
      Dear Mimi: In order to clear your record or apply to the court for expungement, you need to complete the terms or probation or diversion that you were given for this offense. You can contact your probation officer or the person you worked with when you were 15 and ask about your status with the court. If you had a lawyer (public defender) he or she will be able to advise you. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • annmarie
      Sun, 18 Sep 2011 at 02:52

      hi, my nme is annmarie an im 14 . i am going to court on november 23 for battery against a student on school prperty . i was wondering if there is a chance i can go tojuvie. it would b my second time at court. my fisrt time was for curfew about 3 months ago. they just said i have to pay 500 $ before i can get my license. so will i be sentenced to juvinile?
      Dear Annmarie: Whether the judge believes that you should spend some time in detention will depend on the specific facts of your case including whether the other student was injured, your criminal history and the policies of the court. Typically, juvenile courts like to impose other penalties first like placing you on probation and ordering community service hours and that you attend a class or counseling. Often detention is imposed once a person messes up on probation and violates their terms. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Norman
      Tue, 20 Sep 2011 at 12:27

      In VA 1994 urwas 15 when I was charged with a felony for fighting.I was sent away for 3 years as a juvenile.So when I turn 21 I went to buy a shot gun for hunting and checked no I am not a convicted felony.Well the next day the state police showed up. Will I ever be able to buy a gun or vote.
      Dear Norman: Try contacting the court where the charges were filed against you and ask how you can begin the process to expunge or destroy your record and to restore your civil rights (right to vote and possess a firearm). Some states require an additional application or request to the court for restoring civil rights. For the specific laws in your state, you could try Googling “Virginia destruction or expungement of juvenile record”. Click here for more information about the restoration of civil rights in Virginia. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Izzy
      Wed, 21 Sep 2011 at 10:29

      When I was 11 I wrote a threatening letter to another boy in school as a joke and it got reported and stuff. I had to talk to the police, I got suspended from school, and they made me attend some juvenile class where you learn what you did was wrong. I was told that it would go on my record. I live in MN and I’m not entirely sure if it is there, I don’t even know what I was charged with if it is there. I didn’t go to court of any type. I’m 16 now and I’ve had no trouble at all with the law since then. What I would like to know is what I would’ve been charged with if I was and if it would effect my chances at joining the police or the FBI.
      Dear Izzy: It sounds like you most likely do not have a record for the incident since you never went to court. When they told you that it would go on your record, they probably were referring to your school record. It’s possible that you completed a diversion program and avoided charges being filed or having a record. Your possible employment opportunities in the future should not be affected if you do not have a record. You could try contacting either the law enforcement department or juvenile court and ask for a copy of your record to confirm that nothing is on it. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Stephani
      Thu, 22 Sep 2011 at 04:08

      I have 2 juvenile crimes in Florida. One third degree felony for possession of a controlled substance at 13 years old that became adjudication withheld and One first degree misdemeanor for Battery at 17 years old that became adjudication withheld. I am now 21 years old, full time in college and wishing to pursue a degree in teaching. I am also looking to get one expunged (not sealed). I have found at that all health professions require a 15 year wait till I can become licensed (in the florida statue as of July 1, 2009.) I have 3 questions for you. Which charge would you recommend i have expunged that would help me get licensed in teaching with the Florida Department of Education? and is it possible to seal one charge and expunge the other? and if my possession of a controlled substance felony was from when I was 13 years old and the only other charge I’ve had is the battery one at 17 years old, DO you think they will expunge my battery charge? Thanks in Advance and sorry for writing an entire book…
      Dear Stephani: The laws vary from state to state concerning the destruction of juvenile records. First, you could try asking the clerk of the court how to begin the process to request the expungement of your record. Depending on the laws of your state, you may be able to request an expungement of both records at the same time. The court clerk should be able to provide further information about this. For the specific laws in your state, you could try Googling “Florida destruction or expungement of juvenile record”. If you have stayed out of trouble since the incident and successfully completed the terms of your sentence, it is likely that a judge would grant a request to expunge your juvenile record. Finally, you may want to contact the Dept. of Education about obtaining a teaching degree and license with a juvenile record and find out if one of the offenses on your record would be more detrimental to your future in teaching than the other. You could possibly send an email to the Department through their website. Click here to access their contact page. Best of luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Isaac
      Fri, 23 Sep 2011 at 10:59

      I had a juvenile record for sex offenses when I was 13 but I’m pretty sure they were expunged would those offenses still prevent me from becoming a cop?
      Dear Isaac: First, you’ll want to check with the court and request a copy of your record, so you can see exactly what appears on it. Juvenile records are often “sealed”, but that does not mean that they are forever erased. If the offense still appears on your record, then you could request that your record be destroyed or expunged. You could ask the clerk of the court how to begin this process or try Googling the name of your state and “destruction or expungement of juvenile record” for the specific laws and requirements in your state. You could also talk to a recruiter or someone else at the police department to find out whether your juvenile record will be an issue at all. Best of luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Josh
      Sat, 24 Sep 2011 at 05:53

      When I was a juvenile in Florida I was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon but it was dismissed for self defense. I also receive some paper saying that the judge ordered the clerk to dismissed and purged of the records.

      My question is what does dismissed and purged mean? And will the FBI still have record of the arrest? I need to know because I’m applying for a federal job I require the security clearance. Thank you for your time.
      Dear Josh: If you completed a diversion program through the court or probation deartment, you shouldn’t have a record that would appear in a background check. To be sure, contact the court you were in and ask about this. If they have a record of the incident, ask about clearing or “expunging” it. You can also look at this Florida website for information. http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/Content/Seal-and-Expunge-Process/Menu/Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx
      Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Lynn
      Sun, 25 Sep 2011 at 12:15

      Wow what a wonderful website! I have a very unique story and perhaps you help. I am 31 (soon to be 32) years old and I had a very hard upbringing. March of 1986 the state took me away from my mother. The next 12 years I grew up 40-50 different group homes lock downs etc etc.

      When I was 14 or 15 I got into a fight with another boy and I assault charges were brought up against me. I was told that my records would be cleared if I had no more convictions. Well I am 31 years old and I am trying to enlist into the military. Should I tell them about my past? Should I tell them about what happened when i was 14 or 15? It has been nearly 16-17 years since that unfortunate incident and my record is spotless….not even one parking ticket.
      Thanks a million
      i found these two websites but I am not certain what to say to the military recruiter.
      http://www.beforeyouplea.com/tn
      http://expungement.uslegal.com/expungement-of-criminal-records/tennessee-expungement-law/
      Dear Lynn: Thanks for liking AsktheJudge.info. As far as enlistment in the armed services, pay close attention to the questions asked and answer truthfully. For example, if the question is whether you’ve ever been “convicted” of a crime, you may be able to say no if you completed a diversion program or if you were “adjudicated delinquent.” The terms used in juvenile proceedings differ from adult criminal court. The sites you mentioned may be helpful in addressing your concerns. You can also contact the court you were in and see if they have any record of this incident. If they do, you may be eligible to apply for expungement of the record. If, however, the case was handled through diversion, there shouldn’t be a record that would appear on a background check. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Lynn
      Sun, 25 Sep 2011 at 07:58

      While I know the general vicinity of the conviction I do not know the exact courthouse. I had hoped and prayed that my background would not catch up with me but I my heart skipped a beat when the online recruiter asked if any previous convictions including any that were were expunged.

      Currently I am in Thailand. I’ve lived and taught here for the past four years and quite frankly I am getting a tad bit homesick. Right now I am exploring all of my options because my 4 yr degree is not very marketable (social work). Still if I tried to pursue a job in this field then they to would want a background check to see if I was some sort of mental person

      Perhaps the best thing that I can do is to hire an attorney or do an background check on myself to see if something would come up. Would the federal/state government and the military have methods to search a person’s background that I would not have at my disposal?

      Once again thanks a million, Lynn
      Running a check on yourself to see what, if anything, shows up is a good idea. That way you’ll be prepared for whatever questions are asked on applications. If you still have concerns, speaking with a criminal defense attorney may provide you the answers you seek. All the best.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • michelle
      Mon, 26 Sep 2011 at 12:04

      I got introublw 5 months before my 18th birthday for a DUI and possession. I am now 30, a new grad nurse nd pplying for jobs. I am in the process of getting hired and just learned about getting my record sealed. I obviously have no time for that right now. I live in California, will my jjuvenile record show? I also made mistakes as a 18 and 19 year old… obviously a rough couple of years. Those are expunged and I am planning on being honest about that.
      Dear Michelle: First, congratulations on your new career. Read all questions on any application carefully and be truthful at all times. If your juvenile offenses were handled through diversion, there shouldn’t be a record that would appear on a background check. You can contact the court you were in and ask about this. If a record does exist, you can apply (maybe online) to have it sealed or expunged. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Mike
      Mon, 26 Sep 2011 at 04:28

      I am in the process of signing up for the Air Force, but with my juvenile record my recruiter told me it would be a little difficult. The record was made 6 years ago when I was 14. I was told it didnt exist and it never happened by a probation officer, but when I called the court to see if they had a record of me it was on file. I would like to know how difficult the process is of getting my record destroyed is? I really am trying everything I can to get into the Air Force and I dont want some little stupid mistake I did as a child to ruin my career for me.
      Dear Mike: Google the name of your state and “juvenile record expungement.” You may be eligible to apply to have your record either sealed or destroyed (expunged). The court may have the form for expungement online. It’s a simple process and you don’t necessarily need a lawyer – that’s your decision. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Michael
      Mon, 26 Sep 2011 at 07:22

      When I was 16 I was caught with a minor amount of marijuana. I live in South Carolina, and I was offered JPTI. I completed the program and the charges were dropped. I applied for my record to be expunged almost five months ago, but i haven’t heard anything from the Solicitor’s office yet. I am in the middle of college applications right now, and my question for you is whether I should wait to have my record expunged to apply to schools or to just answer the “have you been charged” question honestly. Do you think answering yes to that question could negatively affect my chances of getting into the college I want to go to? Do colleges have the power to run background checks on juvenile records?
      Dear Michael: Most colleges and universities do not run background checks on applicants. Always answer questions on applications truthfully, but read them carefully. For example, if the question asks if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime and you were in juvenile court, you were “adjudicated delinquent.” There are differences in terminology between juvenile and adult criminal court. You can give the court a call and check on the statrus of your request for expungement. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Mike
      Wed, 28 Sep 2011 at 01:19

      Whenever a job runs a background check is it an FBI background check? Are they able to see your juvenile record? I do have a juvenile record but I have never had problems getting jobs.
      Dear Mike: A standard background check may be with local law enforcement only. Not all checks include submission to the FBI or other jurisdictions. Usually juvenile records do not appear on these searches, but it does happen depending on the nature of the charges (felony versus misdemeanor) and whether the juvenile was tried in juvenile or adult court. If you’re concerned about anything on your juvenile record showing up, you can look into expungement procedures through the court you were in. Contact the court and they’ll give you information about the process. It’s relatively easy and you don’t need a lawyer to apply. You may be able to apply online. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Valentin
      Wed, 28 Sep 2011 at 08:09

      Well i was 13 when i commited this crime in ditching school. I did not show up for court that day and i have not been called to show up in court either. I was wondering do i have a warrant for my arrest or is there a way the charge has been dropped. I live in houston texas by the way.
      Forgot to say that during the past 2 years i have been in MCJROTC and i have done multiple community services and fundraisers for my school does that have anything to do to the fact that they have not called for me to court or even sent a letter of my warrant for my arrest because i am very confused.
      Dear Valentin: We suggest that you discuss this with your parents. They can contact the court you were supposed to go to and see what, if anything, is pending or if there’s an outstanding warrant. It’s unlikely that a warrant was issued in a truancy case, but anything is possible. Since it’s been two years, there’s a good chance this has been closed out by the court or probation department. Keep your grades up and ROTC involvement.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Bob
      Wed, 28 Sep 2011 at 10:25

      I plead guilty to a DUI charge and it was placed into my juvenile record. I was 22, but the judge was kind enough to not charge as an adult. To make a long story short. I am not 30 years old. I have had no other run ins with the law, not even a speeding ticket. I am planning getting a career in the justice system. I am about to return to college to get my BS in Criminal justice and Forensic science. I don’t drink at all anymore, I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs, but I have that one DUI on my juvenile record. I have been told if I have any criminal record I will never find a job with a local or federal agency. Does my juvenile record count? if I get it expunged, is it gone for good? or could my future employer find out that I have an expunged record. Should I kiss my future in the justice system goodbye? I have had criminal background checks before to get a visa to japan who will not grant ANYONE a visa if they have a felony, and there was anot a problem. but I fear a police dept or other federal dept would look deeper into my past.
      sorry. mistake. “I am not 30 years old.” should be I am now 30. but will be close to 35 once I enter school and finish my degree
      Dear Bob: Are you sure you were 22 years old and in juvenile court? Most juvenile courts end their jurisdiction at 18 or 21 at the most. Either way, you can look into having this record expunged or sealed. Every state has laws regarding this and different procedures that you’ll have to follow. If this was your first and only offense, there shouldn’t be a problem in destroying the record if your state authorizes it. Take a look at this website for information about expungement: http://www.uslawbooks.com/books/state/ Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Cara Howard
      Thu, 29 Sep 2011 at 02:01

      Can you help me find an attorney in Fresno california for my son. He has a juvenile record. NO conviction NO court dates. He was arrested and released at school for marijuana. Nothing ever came of it. Also, a few run ins for being a typically unruly teen at home. Kid was never violent or convicted or arrested for anything YET the Marines, The Army have told him NO. We need help. He wants to Serve. He is a high school graduate and a good upstanding citizen. Please help
      Cara
      Dear Cara: We suggest you contact a local criminal defense attorney with experience in the juvenile system. Your son may be eligible to apply for expungement of his record. The attorney could also speak with the recruiter to see what can be done to clear the way for his enlistment. Call the California state bar association for a list of attorneys in your area or you can Google “criminal law lawyers Fresno, CA” for information. Many lawyers provide a free consultation for the first 30 minutes or so – ask about this when you call. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Mike
      Thu, 29 Sep 2011 at 05:36

      If I do happen to get my juvenile record expunged, I can enlist into the military no problem correct? I was doing some research and I found that an expunged record doesn’t come up when the FBI does a background check. That they will not find it. But I want to make sure this is true?
      Mike: There are no guarantees about this because of human error in maintaining records, especially digital documents. Also we can’t speak for the military. Each branch of the Armed Services conducts their own investigation into an applicant and have their own enlistment requirements. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Edward
      Thu, 29 Sep 2011 at 09:21

      If I have a D.U.I on my juvenile record can I still become a police officer or a fireman?
      Dear Edward: That depends on the laws in your state and the policies of the law enforcement agency you’re applying to. They differ around the country. You may be eligible to apply to have your juvenile record expunged or cleared. Google the name of your state and “juvenile expungement” for information about this. You may be able to apply online and you don’t need a lawyer for this. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • bill
      Fri, 30 Sep 2011 at 09:19

      I live in Florida, and I have a juvenile record that includes one felony for burglary. I am now 31. If I want to teach, can the department of education see what my charges are? I heard that they can only see that I have a record but cannot see any detail, is this accurate?
      Dear Bill: States handle criminal and juvenile records differently. Since the laws change periodically, we can only refer you to Florida’s laws as available through the state government’s website. You may be eligible to apply to the court you were in for expungement of your juvenile record. Once expunged, it wouldn’t be available to the public. Expungement is not a complicated process – you don’t necessarily need a lawyer for this. Contact the court or check their website for information and possibly forms to complete and file. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • John
      Sat, 01 Oct 2011 at 09:37

      A elative of mine who is 20 years old is being charged as a getaway driver for an armed robery that his friends committed and he was 19 at that time. He had severe emotional issues and had been seeing a psychiatrist at that time. It happened in Florida. Can he still be treated as a juvenile? Since he was severely depressed and his mental age was about 15 eventhough his biological age was 19, what kind of legal defense can he get? Would the court consider these factors. Can the felony charges be dropped? Thank you for your answers.
      Dear John: The age of majority in Florida is 18, as it is in most states. At age 20 now, or 19 at the time of the crime, your friend will be prosecuted in adult court. He needs to speak with a lawyer regarding his defense. The lawyer will know how to best defend him and address the judge regarding his mental health issues and his role in the armed robbery. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Amanda
      Wed, 05 Oct 2011 at 08:54

      Hi I live in michigan and I am 16 and my sister was caught shoplifting an item that was around $5.00 and I was with her. So they took me in too. And they took my name and my personal info. What do you think I’ll be getting for my sisters wrong doings? Will it go on my record? I just want to know because I am going to be appling for a job at goodwill. I talked to a manager that I know that works at goodwill and she said they don’t hire people with the charges I might get. This is my first and last offense.
      Dear Amanda: If you get a notice in the mail to appear in court, the legal process will be explained to you by a court or probation officer. If you didn’t do anything and had no part in your sister’s act, tell the officer. If you plead not guilty and a trial is scheduled in juvenile court, a public defender may be appointed to represent you. Explain everything that happened to your lawyer. If you had nothing to do with the shoplifting, you’ll have an opportunity to explain your side of the story. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Cliff
      Fri, 07 Oct 2011 at 12:54

      When I 13, I was charged with duck hunting without a duck stamp. As a result I was committed to the Boys Forestry Camp in Maryland some 40 years ago. I became a law enforcement officer in Texas for a number of years while working towards my law degree. I know wish to return to law enforcement and sent a set of fingerprints into the FBI for a Criminal History check. Upon receipt of the results of the FBI report, it was discovered that I was arrested and charged with “Flight to avoid prosecution” with a Court disposition that I be returned to the Boys Forestry Camp. This record now prevents e from returning to law enforcement in Texas. Maryland laws states the records have been destroyed after 25 years and offers no legal avenue for expungement of the juvenile records. With the understand there are no records to substantiate charges were ever filed, i.e. no complaint on file…would it not be the juvenile court with original jurisdiction and venue who could order the State of Maryland State Police Criminal Records to remove the record as they themselves are the ones responsible for reporting it to the FBI? Thank you for your time with this issue.
      Dear Cliff: Most state laws regarding expungement of juvenile records authorize the court to destroy “their” records of an offense which would result in an absense of anything to report on a background check. The court will oftentimes send their expungement order to the law enforcement agency involved with the offense indicating their action. However, courts may not be legally authorized to “order” the police department to destroy or delete their record of the incident, if any exists. We refer you to the following website for information specific to Maryland:
      http://www.djs.state.md.us/faq.html
      You might also want to speak with a lawyer in your area about this – one who is familiar with juvenile law. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Elaina Moralis
      Sun, 09 Oct 2011 at 03:00

      When I was about 15-16 I got held at sears for shoplifting although I never got arrested, went to court or had to do community service my parents had to pay the fees. I am now 17 turning 18 in a few months and applying for the Air Force. They ask have I ever been convicted for a misdemeanor and I don’t know what to answer due to the fact that I don’t know if it’s or my record or not nor do I have a court disposition. What should I do? Do you think the incident is on my record?
      Dear Elaina: Since the police weren’t involved and you didn’t get a ticket or summons to court, you don’t have a record that would appear on a background check. The only record that may exist is with the store for their purposes. Since you didn’t go to court, you weren’t convicted of a crime. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Chris
      Sun, 09 Oct 2011 at 08:23

      hi i plan to join law enforcement but when i was 13 i was arrested for burglury and recieved no jail time just a year of probation and 20hours of community service.will all this affect my chances of becoming a police officer?
      Dear Chris: It’s unlikely that your juvenile record from when you were 13 will prevent you from going into law enforcement. However, you may want to speak with someone from the police department to find out what type of criminal record could be an issue for getting employed. For example, they may want you to get your juvenile record destroyed or expunged. The laws vary from state to state concerning the destruction of juvenile records. You could try asking the clerk of the court how to begin the process to request the expungement of your record. In some states, you may have to wait until you are 18 or even older before you can make this request. For the specific laws in your state, you could try Googling your state’s name and “destruction or expungement of juvenile record”. If you have stayed out of trouble since the incident and successfully completed the terms of your sentence, it is likely that a judge would grant a request to expunge your juvenile record. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • JD
      Sun, 09 Oct 2011 at 11:18

      When I was 16, I was charged & plead guilty to a felony assault (assault resulting in serious bodily injury) and spent a good portion of my remaining time as a minor in juvenile detention centers (no CYA though). I had a brief stint of probation in group home afterwords in which I was released early and granted emancipation only months before turning 18 years. I vaguely remember the attorney mentioning something after turning 25 however that was nearly 13 years ago as I am now 30. Since then, I have been a model citizen without incident. I’ve put myself thru 4yrs of college and have had a great career since. My questions is, is it possible to get my juvenile record expunged in California? Reason, simply to put closure to a period of my life that does no represent myself and am ashamed of.
      Dear JD: Yes, it’s possible that you can get your record expunged. The laws vary from state to state concerning the destruction of juvenile records. You could contact the court where the charges were filed and try asking the clerk of the court how to begin the process to request the expungement of your record. For the specific laws in your state, you could try Googling “California destruction or expungement of juvenile record”. Since you have stayed out of trouble since the incident and as long as you successfully completed the terms of your sentence, there is a good chance that a judge would grant a request to expunge your juvenile record. Congratulations on turning your life around and good luck with your future endeavors.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • phill
      Mon, 10 Oct 2011 at 03:21

      when I was 14 i got arrested for disorderly counduct I wasn’t fingerprinted and when I did a background check I was unable to find myself. I was only sentenced to 40 hours community service. I’m now 18 and trying to enlist in the National Guard will that arrest have any effect on if I’ll be able to enlist? and how will be
      able to obtain the police records for the crime?
      Dear Phill: You may have completed a diversion program and therefore, the charges would have been dismissed. It’s unlikely that this incident will prevent you from enlisting especially if the charges were dismissed and you do not have a record. However, you could try contacting either the police department or the court and ask for a copy of your record in order to confirm what exactly, if anything, appears on it. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Halle
      Tue, 11 Oct 2011 at 01:56

      About 2 years ago, when I was 19, I got a misdemeanor charge for indecent exposure because me and my boyfriend made a bad decision and got caught having sex in my car. Our charge was dismissed and expunged. I just got a job at a daycare and I had to get fingerprinted. It is taking a lot longer than expected and I’m freaking out. Willy employer found out about it?
      Dear Halle: Since the charge was dismissed and expunged, you shouldn’t have much to worry about. However, every state is different when it comes to criminal background checks and dismissed charges and/or an expunged record. Sometimes, the original charges will appear on the record, but as for the final disposition or resolution of the case, the record will state something like “dismissed” or “expunged” or “conviction set aside”. To find out what, if anything, appears on your record, you could try contacting the court where the charges were originally filed and ask for a copy of your record. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Cameron
      Tue, 11 Oct 2011 at 02:04

      When I was 13 I was arrested for Sexual assaulting a younger person than me while under the influence of drugs and I’m now turning 18 and I was wondering if I get sealed or what not? I did Therapy and all that I live in Arkansas also.
      Dear Cameron: The laws vary from state to state concerning the destruction of juvenile records. The following website states that you may have to wait until you are 23 (10 years after the offense) in order to get your record expunged. Here’s what the releavant section states:

      “The right or opportunity to seal and expunge juvenile records depends on the category of the offense for which the youth was adjudicated. In Arkansas, “expunge” means the actual destruction of the records.[40] For juveniles adjudicated of ordinary delinquent offenses, the court may expunge a youth’s record at any time, and shall expunge all the records of this type of juvenile offense upon his or her twenty-first birthday.[41] However, “records of delinquency adjudications for which a juvenile could have been tried as an adult are kept for ten years after the last adjudication of delinquency, the date of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, or a finding of guilt as an adult;” thereafter, the records can be expunged.[42]”

      You could try asking the clerk of the court how to begin the process to request the expungement of your record. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Halle
      Tue, 11 Oct 2011 at 02:52

      Thank you for the advice! I live in Tennessee so I’m not sure if you are familiar with our fingerprinting system.
      Dear Halle; You’re welcome. No, we’re not familiar with the specific fingerprint clearance laws in Tennessee, but again, if you request a copy of your record, you should be able to find out whether anything appears on it. Take care.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Jared
      Wed, 12 Oct 2011 at 09:23

      hi my name is Jared, and i want to be a national park ranger. when i was 17 i was chaged with lewd and lachivious behaivor. charged as a juvy. i get it all expunged in nov. will this still follow me and will it keep me from getting a gov. job?
      Dear Jared: Every state has laws about expunging juvenile records. They differ enough where you have to read the laws that apply to you. Google the name of your state and “juvenile record expungement” for information. In some states “expunged” means “sealed” and not destroyed.” You can also contact the probation officer or lawyer who worked with you in this case about the status of your record. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Gilbert
      Wed, 12 Oct 2011 at 07:53

      I got a ticket for truancy when i was 15 and i failed to show up for court. Now im 18 and i dont know if i have a bench warrant and i want to join the military. What should I do.
      Dear Gilbert: It’s unlikely that the court issued a warrant on a truancy charge. But anything is possible. You can contact the court and ask if they have a warrant in their records for you. Or you can speak with a criminal defense lawyer for advice. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice)

    • Kyle
      Fri, 14 Oct 2011 at 04:07

      So i got a possession of cannabis ticket and went to court for it. I am currently 17 and I am on unsupervised probabtion with 24hours and a Drug and alchol class. This is my first time in trouble with the law. Which will end in september next year, in my state of colorado. I am applying for college and have good grades but in the personal questions it says “Have you ever been convicted of a crime, made a plea of guilty, accepted a deferred judgement, been adjudicated, or been required to register as a sex offender.” My current status is open and i have neither clue on yes or no
      Dear Kyle: Contact the probation department to find out the exact status of your case. It sounds like you may be on a diversion program, which would mean that you have not been “convicted”. However, if you pled guily before a judge and then were sentenced to unsupervised probation, you would have to answer “yes” to the question. Also, if your case was handled in juvenile court, then again, you would not have a “conviction” as you are “adjudicated” in juvenile court. It’s extremely important to read the exact language on any application very carefully so you can answer truthfully. The probation officer assigned to handling the usupervised probation cases should be able to help you out and answer your question. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Denise
      Fri, 14 Oct 2011 at 10:21

      When I was 15, i got into a bunch of trouble and accumulated 4 different misdameaners. I was eventually put on intensive probation. (michigan). Im 27 now, and a few years ago i paid for the Michigan Criminal Background check and it came up clear. I never asked for it to be ezpunged. so I am wondering if you know if it really off my record since it didnt show up on there.
      Dear Denise: The laws differ in every state concerning the sealing and expungement of juvenile records. It sounds like your record most likely was sealed or expunged since it did not show up on the background check, but you may want to check with the police department or court to find out what that background check reveals – in other words, does it include juvenile records. You could also contact the juvenile court where the charges were originally filed and ask for a copy of your juvenile record so you can see whether the offenses still appear on it. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Kristan
      Sat, 15 Oct 2011 at 10:17

      In September of 2009, I got a ticket for possession of marijuana and paraphernalia. The judge dropped the paraphernalia charge. I had to complete 24 hours of community service and 4 months of probation. I completed all of that. I’m pretty sure that my court date was October 9th of 2009, and started probation and community service not too long after that. Like a week or two.
      I haven’t been able to get a job because of my misdemeanor, so my question is, do I have to put down my misdemeanor on a job application if it has been 2 years? Because my lawyer is supposed to be calling me about my expungement, but hasn’t yet.
      Dear Kristan: It’s extremely important to read the language on any application very carefully. Most employers are concerned about any felony “convictions”. If your case was handled in juvenile court, then you do not have a “conviction” since you would have been “adjudicated” as a delinquent. Therefore, you could truthfully answer no to having any prior convictions. Read the questions on the application carefully, so you can answer truthfully and then if you get your record expunged, talk to your lawyer about what to put down on any applications in the future. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • riley
      Sun, 16 Oct 2011 at 07:23

      i am 16 turning 17 dec.5th and late august of this year the police were called because i hit my moms boyfriend and the cop said that i was going to be arrested but my uncle showed up and talked my mom and her bf out of it because it would cost them money i was allowed to go with my uncle for the night about a month later i went to see the head of paroll and we talked about what happened and he said to be expecting a paper from the court with a date for me to go to court but i havent recieved a letter/paper yet and its been about 1 1/2 months since ive talked to him and my birthdays coming soon and i am not trusting my mom or her bf they have been causeing me alot of problems and her bf has threatened to kill me in the past and i think they are trying to hold off court till im 17 so i will be trialed as a adult or not telling me when i have court so i will not know when to go so i will miss it also she is not letting me get my license and my dad is in prison and dont know hf he can sign for me to get it i have the money and a car but im concerned about her making me late to school becase my sister dont start till 8:15 and i start at 8:00 she will purposly take her first i live aprox 2 miles from my school and i cant take the bus because i cant set my alarm because my mom and her bf say it wake them up i dont know what to do anymore and need some advice i want to go to college to be a radiologist but i dont know if i can if i get charged with battery please reply i would appriciate it.
      Dear Riley: First, it’s great to hear your educational goal about becoming a radiologist. You need to continue to focus on this goal in order to get you through this difficult time. Since you are worried about not receiving the notice from the court, you could try calling the court and ask whether any charges have been filed against you. It’s possible that the prosecutor’s office has reviewed the police report and has decided to not file charges. It’s also possible that the prosecutor’s office is backlogged and has not yet reviewed your case. As for your driver’s license, try looking at your state’s DMV website to find out exactly what is required in order to obtain a license. Perhaps you could get a quiet alarm clock or even use your cell phone and turn the volume down, so you can get up early enough to walk, ride a bike or take the bus to school. Good luck getting through this difficult time and remember to focus on your studies.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Jordan
      Mon, 17 Oct 2011 at 12:41

      I am 24 years old. When I was 13 and 14 years old I was arrested a twice for fighting at school, once for petty theft, and twice for fighting with my family. I was recently told that Florida law only allows for one expungement per person. Is this true? Does it mean only one of these can be expunged? Thanks!
      Dear Jordan: We refer you to the website below for information about Florida’s expungement process. Good luck.
      http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/content/getdoc/c83dd888-ef7a-448e-9a96-ba69fc4181f7/Seal-and-Expunge-Home.aspx
      Every state has its own laws on the subject of juvenile records and you have to look to those laws for specific answers to your questions.
      Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Matt
      Tue, 18 Oct 2011 at 12:14

      I was arrested while a minor, for possession of marijuana paraphanilia and possession of marijuana. Both separate events. Had to go to juvenile court for both charges. This was when I was 16/17. I have been clean and on the straight and narrow since. I am Currently 29 and trying to get my pilots license. this all occurred in California. I don’t really remember what happened in court as it was so long ago. But I do know I was not tried as an adult.

      On FAA form 8710-1 it asks “have you ever been convicted for violation of any federal or state statues relating to narcotic drugs, marijuana, or depressants or stimulant drugs or substances?”.

      The info for answering that question is:
      “only check ‘yes’ if you have actually been convicted. If you have been charged with a violation which has not been adjudicated, check ‘no’”

      According to this I would answer no since I was never convicted. But was adjudicated correct? Or do I need to answer it with a yes? Any help you can provide would be awesome. Thanks in advance.
      Dear Matt: You raise a good point about language in applications. You have to read all questions carefully, as you have, and answer truthfully. We can’t tell you how to answer the question. However, there is a difference between being “convicted” and “adjudicated delinquent.” Since you were in juvenile court, the word “conviction” doesn’t apply. If you completed a “diversion” program for these offenses, you weren’t adjudicated or convicted. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Jay
      Thu, 20 Oct 2011 at 12:06

      When I was 15, I was pulled over for not stopping completely at a stop sign. At the time I only had my driver’s permit and not my full legal license. I was cited for a misdemeanor and was given a court date at juvenile court. The judge only ordered that I attend a day of traffic school, and was not clear about whether or not anything would go on my record. I’m now a university student at Yale and am seeking internships with the State Department, which I understand performs meticulous background checks on all applicants. Will that previous underage driving incident show up on my record? Thank you in advance!
      Dear Jay: We suggest you contact the court you were in and ask about this. It’s likely there’s no record that would appear in a background check if you weren’t adjudicated or found guilty. It’s possible, considering your age and if this was a first offense, that you completed a “diversion program” in which case you wouldn’t have a record. If there is one, ask about applying for expungement of the record. You don’t need a lawyer for this and in many courts you can apply online on the court’s website. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Sunmaid
      Sat, 22 Oct 2011 at 11:39

      Hello judge Tom. I have a specific question regarding a question on my law school application. It specifically states: “Have you ever been charged or convicted of a felony, misdemeanor, or other crime”?
      I was fifteen years old and stole jeans from a store got caught and got a gross misdemeanor and theft in the third. I went through the diversion program and was not charged or convicted it was diverted out of court and they destroyed the records. Do I need to select Yes on the question? Or could I possibly not need to disclose this?
      Dear Sunmaid: Good question. We can’t tell you how to answer but we will point out that, as you know, the language used in the juvenile and adult criminal systems differ and for a reason. Juvenile law is meant to be less harsh on minors. It is not meant to follow the minor around for life as in your case. Consequently, you don’t see the words “conviction,” “crime” or “felony.” Instead we speak of “delinquents,” “delinquent acts” and “adjudications.” Since you completed a diversion program and the records have been destroyed, you can approach this question on the application as fits the intent of a juvenile justice system. Good luck and enjoy law school.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

      ,”

    • IQBA
      Sun, 23 Oct 2011 at 12:24

      ok soo i was charged with a 3rd degree felony of steeling a phone and selling it on craigslist. i learned my lesson but i am still 15 and its recent im being put on a program but im not sure if this will stay on my record after i complete the program and if they will drug test me(my mom wants to know) thanks..
      If you are being placed in what is called a “diversion program” you won’t have a record that will affect your adult life. Diversion is meant to teach you a lesson about breaking the law but not permanently so as to hurt you later in life. Ask the person you’re dealing with at court about this. He or she will explain it to you. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • rigoberto
      Wed, 26 Oct 2011 at 11:25

      this is good comment

    • Justin Manuel Seyssel
      Wed, 26 Oct 2011 at 06:17

      I was born in 1989.
      In 2002 I was issues a citation for violation 21212(a)VC in Simi Valley California. “Under 18 Shall not Operate/Ride Bicycle as Passenger Without a Helmet”

      Considering I was 13 at the time, naturally I forgot all about it, and it seem my parents at the time took no action regarding it (payment or appearance).
      Since then I have had several security related jobs all requiring back round check, always coming up clean or “sealed”… although I had other charges (Vandalism, etc…) They have never prevented employment or even shown up on my record. When I turned 18 I took the necessary steps to Seal my record… I moved to Colorado in march of 2011 and got a security job out here no problem… now that that first job has ended and I am pursuing employment with a nationwide company that I have already worked for before, my back round check came back with a ping on that ticket… Only that ticket…

      How can I go about taking care of this ticket? I find it interesting that after all this time and no problems before, NOW it decides to show up… I was 13 at the time and my father (parent/Guardian) is now deceased.

      Surely there are means I can get this taken off my record without paying the ten year old fees or Flying to california.

      I appreciate any insight you can give, I am very emotional over this as I have been out of work for two months, have had to borrow money to support my family, and right when I’m about to get hired, this pops up out of nowhere.

      Thank you again, I look forward to your response.
      Dear Justin: This is not unheard of but surprising just the same. We suggest you contact the juvenile court in Ventura County (Simi Valley) where you would have gone when this happened. They may have a web site that you can check. Look for information about expunging/sealing a juvenile record. You may be able to apply online and save the trip to California. You should also find a phone number you can call and ask about this. Here is some information from the Ventura County Superior Court. Good luck.

      (This is information only – not legal advice)

    • Chris
      Wed, 26 Oct 2011 at 07:12

      thanks for the info judge…i checked my record documents given to me after the day of court and it says i was charged with a felony at 13 years old for burglary 2nd degree and possession of burglary tools i recived a year of probabtion and 20 hours of work program no juvinal hall time…will i be able to become a police officer even if my records state it was a felony but as minor?
      Dear Chris: There’s a difference between being charged with a felony and what actually happened once you went to court. If you pleaded guilty to a reduced offense (misdemeanor) the record should show that. Either way, in juvenile court, kids aren’t found guilty of crimes. The language differs from adult court. You may have been “adjuducated deliquent” and placed on juvenile probation. You have to pay close attention to the language in questions on applications but being truthful at the same time. As far as your future as a police officer, each department across the country has its own policies & rules about juvenile offenses and records. Some conduct a juvenile record check, others don’t. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Rafael Sandoval
      Wed, 26 Oct 2011 at 11:33

      Hi i wanted to know if my record gets erased or sealed after i turn 18? I got a felony when i was 14 for carrying brass knuckles but i did not use them to hurt any one i got caught because some one told on me and i got expelled from school. Then my second felony was for me driving a vehicle with different plates on it and was told that was felony. I payed everything to the courts before i turned 18 and don’t own anything, and have been cleared ever since. Now i am 19 years old and graduated from high school and been doing good. So is there any chance my record will be sealed or erased?
      Dear Rafael: Every state has its own laws regarding juvenile records. Take a look at this site for information about your state:
      http://www.uslawbooks.com/books/state/
      You can also Google the name of your state and “juvenile records” for more information. The court you were in when you were 14 probably has a web site that you can go on to apply to have your record cleared. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Kenny
      Thu, 27 Oct 2011 at 09:42

      is it true that when you’re a minor on probation and violate you’re probation when you’re 18 your record will be clean?
      Dear Kenny: Every state has its own laws regarding juvenile proceedings and juvenile records. In some states you can apply to have your record cleared or expunged (destroyed). In others, the records are sealed but not destroyed. Ask your probation officer about this. You can also Google the name of your state and “juvenile records” for information. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Andrea
      Thu, 27 Oct 2011 at 02:30

      hello, this summer when i just turned 16, i went to Houston and got caught stealing from Claire’s with the total amount of 120$. This was the first time i’ve ever stolen and the last. I was sent to juvenile detention center for about 3 hours until my mother picked me up. Afterwards, i am currently under house arrest until December, but i am terrified that my stupid action i committed will stay in my record. will it?
      Dear Andrea: It is unlikely that you’ll end up with a record for this first-time offense. If you follow the orders you were given at court, stay out of trouble and don’t shoplift again, the case may be closed in December. It sounds as if you’re in a “diversion program” whose purpose is to keep you from getting a record and teach you a lesson at the same time. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Jen
      Fri, 28 Oct 2011 at 02:41

      Hello, I am wanting to buy a gun for self defense (home). But I am worried about filling out the paper work. See, I got sent to a mental hospital 2 times when I was a juvenille…once in 8th grade (2002) and once in 11th grade (2005) for depression/bipolar issues by my school(s). I am wondering if this is still on my record. Will this get me denied when trying to purchase a firearm? I never went into a court house to get committed or arrested for anything in my life. Thank you.
      Dear Jen: The answer depends on the laws in your state and applicable federal laws. Google the name of your state and “firearms laws” or “possession of weapons” for details. You can also ask a firearms dealer about the requirements he must comply with in selling a gun to you. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Kyle
      Sat, 29 Oct 2011 at 03:19

      Hi my name is kyle, Im 19 years old and I had a question concerning my record. When I was 17 I was charged with assault with a deadly weapon to cause great bodily injury. They also added the gang enhancement. Since then i’ve moved away from that community, stopped talking to any of those people, and now just trying to live a clean and straight life. But now it seems even harder to live. I can’t find a job anywhere, the military won’t take me, and i’m just struggling everyday to keep a positive attitude and hope that things will get better. I’ve looked up expungement and record sealing online and according to my record I am “ineligible” just because i live here in california. Is there anything i can do? I really feel stuck , because i know of people that have done way worse things than me and are still working and becoming a functional part of society. PLEASE HELP, anything would help..
      Dear Kyle: We’re not sure what you mean by living in California limiting your ability to apply for expungement. If your juvenile record exists in another state, you need to apply through the court in that state. If you were in a California court, check the court’s web site about juvenile records and the expungement process. As a last resort, you can speak with a lawyer about this. Some lawyers provide free legal advice for the first 30 minutes or so. Ask about this if you call a local lawyer. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Stephany
      Sun, 30 Oct 2011 at 10:11

      Hey there hopefully you can help me.. I am 21 in Florida and I am trying to purchase a gun. When I was 14 I was arrested for a felony shoplifting charge. I went thru the program and I believe my mother and I had the option to expunge it for 75 bucks but we didn’t because we were low on money.. Since I was eligible for an expungement does that mean ill pass the background check to purchase a firearm? I still have all my civil rights (I’m a registered voter and I have been on jury duty) I know that it is still on my record because I had to have a background check done to go on base for school and it is there but will the gun shop take that into consideration or will they just see my charge and automatically deny me?? Appreciate your help and hope to hear from you very soon!
      Dear Stephany: Although the right to possess a firearm is part of your civil rights, many states have additional requirements for gun vendors when it comes to selling to a person with any record. Check out this document about juvenile records in Florida and the expungement process. Based on this document, your record will continue to show until you are 24. You may want to ask the court to expunge your record so that it will not appear on background checks. Also, you could call the gun shop and ask whether a juvenile record for shoplifting will prevent you from purchasing a gun in your state. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • brenda
      Mon, 31 Oct 2011 at 01:58

      hi,my name is brenda. I beleive that my friend got caught at the otay border in CA. he cross like 400 mg of marijuana and we havent heard nothing about him. We would like to know what is the process. he has mexican visa. This is his first felony and we would like to know what could happen to him. Do the borders send him directly to a jail. or how long can they keep him on they trial or questionary process ? thank you for your help
      Dear Brenda: Since you haven’t heard from him, there’s a good chance he’s in custody with either the federal government in the United States or the local authorities in Souther California. Depending on the circumstances he may be going through deportation proceedings or awaiting charges and trial on the drug offenses. You can contact a criminal defense attorney who may be able to obtain information about him and provide a defense if he decides to plead not guilty. You may also contact the Mexican Consulate General in San Diego for assistance.
      Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Daniel
      Tue, 01 Nov 2011 at 10:11

      Hello im 17 and recently this year i was sentenced to 12 months probation (no fine) (never been to prison) for importation of class C (BZP) only a small amount but now ive got a IT apprentiship staying out of trouble the court over here know that iam a good boy now and im going to india to build houses schools,ect for the poor people to put somthing back into the community just wondering what the court would say if i asked for my record to be cleared when im 18 or if i could ask to come to some sort of aggrement with them? thanks
      Dear Daniel: Every state has laws about clearing/expunging a juvenile’s record. It depends on the type of crime and whether it was a felony or misdemeanor. You may have to wait until you’re a certain age to be eligible for expungment of your record. Ask your probation officer about this. Once you complete your probation period, if you have to wait until you’re 21 or so to apply for expungement, you may be able to do it online. Many courts have a web site and forms you can download, fill out and file online. You don’t necessarily need a lawyer for this. That’s up to you. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Daniel
      Tue, 01 Nov 2011 at 02:31

      Thank You i forgot to say i live in Jersey Channel Islands
      You’re welcome.

    • sarah
      Tue, 01 Nov 2011 at 07:50

      Hello.. ok so I got caught shoplifting sadly to say twice. once when I was sixteen and the other when I was seventeen. I know it was extremely stupid and I have no excuse. The total cost of the stolen items were under $25 the first time and then $15 the second. So I got fined on both occasions and never had to go to court and the stores never called the police and no fingerprints. So now I am 18 and am planning to go to pre-pharmacy school and am currently looking for a job in a department store. So my question is will my shoplifting incidents be on my record? Can the college/future employer see my record?
      Thank you so much for your time! This has been bugging me for some time and I really need closure. thanks.
      Dear Sarah: If you didn’t go to court for these incidents, weren’t placed on probation or have to complete a diversion program, you don’t have an official record that would appear on a background check. The records may be with the stores involved but not in the formal juvenile justice system. Colleges don’t usually require or request juvenile records in the admission process. Good luck with your studies.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

      - Show quoted text -

    • sean
      Fri, 04 Nov 2011 at 09:05

      I was arrested at a friends house we had a lit marijuana cigarette, I was 20 now 30,I went to court paid a 1000$ FINE AND WAS TOLD IF I HAD NO MORE PROBLEMS IN 6 MO IT WOULD BE ERASED FROM MY RECORDS Ive never been in any trouble since they said i would neer have to admit on a job application of being arrested but i want to become a corrections officer, do i tell them i was or wasnt? Also i had become a realtor and they do a thourogh backround check and nothing came up.
      Dear Sean: AsktheJudge.info is an educational web site for & about teenagers and the laws that affect them. We don’t provide legal advice to adults or teens.
      We suggest you speak with a local lawyer with these questions. You may also be eligible to apply to the court you were in to clear your record. Check the court’s website or call them and ask about expunging your record. You don’t necessarily need a lawyer for this. You may be able to apply online. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Sara
      Fri, 04 Nov 2011 at 07:14

      At 16 I got into trouble for helping my friend to shoplift. I had to do community service, and even though I hadn’t been the one to physically steal something, I thought I learned my lesson. This past week, I have been stressed out..and for an adrenaline rush or for whatever mindless reason, I decided to steal 7 dollars worth of candy from a grocery store. I will have to appear in court for a preliminary inquiry. Will my juvenile brush with the law have any impact on what happens now?
      Dear Sara: It depends on whether a record of your juvenile incident exists. If you completed a diversion program, there may not be a record. You can check with the court you were in about this. If the court you have to appear in is aware of the first incident, it may be taken into consideration in handling this recent shoplifting. You can discuss this with the court or probation officer at court, or lawyer if you speak with one before going to court. Good luck.
      (Thisis information only – not legal advice).

    • joseph
      Tue, 08 Nov 2011 at 05:07

      When I was 13 I got in trouble for touching a girl on her but. ( I live I in the Texas )and I play sports. So would it stop me from going to aD1 collage??
      Also I was not charged,but my school said it follow me for the rest of my life
      Dear Joseph: That depends on whether the incident is part of your permanent school record and the privacy laws that apply to you and these records. We suggest you speak with your parents and possibly a lawyer who practices education law. There may be something you can do about sealing the school record or expunging (destroying) it. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • joseph
      Tue, 08 Nov 2011 at 05:57

      What if its not on my permanent school records would ut stop me from going to a collage like duke?
      Dear Joseph: If there’s no mention of the incident on your record, colleges and universities won’t be aware of it. It shouldn’t be an obstacle in your future endeavors.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • joseph
      Wed, 09 Nov 2011 at 06:48

      What if it is permanent on my school record will it affect me bad??
      Dear Joseph: We can’t say what effect it would have on future applications, job interviews, etc. It depends on the interviewer and their policies regarding past incidents of this nature. Due to your age at the time and the years that have passed without additional incidents, this one incident if nothing more than a pat on the rear shouldn’t adversely affect your life. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Aida Lozano
      Thu, 10 Nov 2011 at 11:50

      I’m 16 years old and I live in California. I was arrested for theft and the amount was $80 worth of cosmetics. I want to know how long it will be to delete that from my record ? or can I go to court and ask for it to be destroyed ?
      Dear Aida: When you go to court, ask the court or probation officer about this. Here is a California juvenile court web site with information. Good luck.
      http://www.courts.ca.gov/1218.htm
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Trish
      Fri, 11 Nov 2011 at 07:13

      My son was beat up by three kids he is 11 y/o.He came home a grabbed a pocket knife and pulled it out on the kid. My daughter came running home and told me, I ran outside and grabbed him and the knife. He was punished at home for this incident. This happened three weeks ago. The police got called and they decided to not pursue the issue since the other kids beat him up. The parent called the school today and told them of this incident. The principal pulled my son into the office and told him that they found his record on line and pulled it up. He was given a lunch detention today they never called me about this situation. Basically I need to know if a school can pull a child’s juvenile record? And if he would even have one for this incident?
      Dear Trish: Laws differ from state to state regarding juvenile records, privacy and disclosure. Try Googling the name of your state and “juvenile records” for information. You can also go your local juvenile court’s web site for information on this. The school district’s rules should be available to you. Contact them and ask for a copy of the rules governing student records and their availability to others. The federal law spells out what is protected information about a student and what can be released and to whom. See the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act here:
      http://ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/students.html
      Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Shawn P
      Fri, 11 Nov 2011 at 09:50

      Hi, I was arrested when i was 16 and served 8 months in a California boot camp. I was arrested for burglary and a possession of a firearm. There were a total of three people involved (including myself) Two minors and one adult. I didn’t confess to owning the firearm and burglary nor did I say whose it was but I served my time and have been trouble free ( long story short I was young and stupid “stupider than a rock” i thought the apartment I was loitering was safe because I saw the owner of the house every other day and her kids but she got fed up didn’t have tell us to leave instead she called the cops). I’m now 28 I’m going into the medical field and they will perform a background check. Because I’m not sure what I was charged for do I need to go to the court house in which I was trialed? or can I go to any local or county court house? Do you think I could get my records expunged? I look forward to hearing from you. Sorry about the grammar and spelling I’m writing this with one hand I broke the other playing football.
      Sincerely,
      Shawn
      Dear Shawn: Only the court that had jurisdiction over your case would have the records about this incident. The court may have a web site, though. Go to it and see what information is there about expunging juvenile records. You may be able to apply online. It’s an easy process and doesn’t require a lawyer – that’s your decision. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Kayla
      Sat, 12 Nov 2011 at 02:41

      Hi, I was recently caught for underage drinking at a party with some friends. We got taken down to the station and were arrested. We haven’t had our court date yet but were hoping to get the Diversion program. When I was 15 I got caught shoplifting with a friend and was put on probation, I’m 18 now but will that still be able to affect my chances of getting into the Diversion program or could I be punished with something else since I have a previous offense? And if so would it be in my best interest to get myself a real attorney or would that not make a difference in the outcome of this situation?
      Dear Kayla: You may be offered diversion even though technically this is not your first offense. However, considering the two incidents involve different charges (shoplifting and underage drinking) and that you were a minor when the first incident occurred and are now an adult, there is a good chance that you will be eligible for diversion if it is offered in your county and ultimately, it will depend on the rules/policies of the court. When you go to your first court date, you will find out more about the possible penalties you face and whether diversion is an option. Depending on what you find out, you could then decide whether or not to look into hiring an attorney. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • cat
      Sun, 13 Nov 2011 at 02:36

      okay please anwser this fast i was charged with A SEXUAL CRIME WHEN 13 BUT MAINTAIN Y INOCENCES THE WHOLE TIME AND STILL DO. BUT WAS FOUND GUILTIE but know im going thrue a custody battle have not got arrested since and i a scared *#@% that its going to come back to destroy my life again im in MT please let me know thank you
      Dear Cat: AsktheJudge.info is an educational site for teens about their rights and responsibilities under the law. We suggest you contact a local family law attorney in your area who will be able to answer your questions and provide further assistance. Also, you may want to consider getting your juvenile record expunged or destroyed if possible. For more about the laws in your state concerning juvenile records, click here. Good luck.
      (This is information only – no legal advice.)

    • Matthew Miller
      Mon, 14 Nov 2011 at 12:51

      When I was 17, I was kicked out of high school (Vicenza American Highschool) for disciplinary actions through the disciplinary board. I was not charged of anything, the school and board just decided it was best I was kicked out. I am currently 24 and in the US Air Force. While they performed by Secret Clearence, this fact came out. Due to the fact that it was committed when I was 17 and there was no criminal charges, how do I go by requesting such documents to be disposed and destroyed? I do not want it to affect a future TS clearance .
      Dear Matthew: Check with the school district to see if they have a policy or procedure where your record can be sealed or cleared. You can also speak with a lawyer about this who practices education law. He/she may be able to assist you. You can also check the school’s web site for information about student records. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • david
      Tue, 15 Nov 2011 at 09:17

      hi im david and live in michigan , can a juvenile record be factored into sentencing if a person is later found guilty of an adult crime
      Dear David: Yes, in most states a juvenile’s history, especially when the offenses on the juvenile record are felonies, may be considered in sentencing determinations in adult court. This is a state-by-state issue so you have to refer to the specific statutes in Michigan. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • jackie
      Tue, 15 Nov 2011 at 09:17

      whats a feeder crime?
      Dear Jackie: That’s not a term we’re familiar with. It may refer to a crime that leads to another such as trespass on a property that leads to a break-in and burglary. The trespass would be the feeder crime to the burglary. It may be a term used locally in your area. You can ask a defense lawyer or police officer where you live. Thanks for asking. Maybe one of our readers can enlighten us.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Samantha
      Wed, 16 Nov 2011 at 11:57

      I got a misdemeanor when I was 16 for petty theft? The value of the items were under $300. Maybe $200? I remember the officer saying if it was any higher, it would have been a felony to my friend because she had $280 worth of things. I remember the officer saying I turned in an application for expungement at the end of July and looked up that my juvenile court takes about 6 months to complete it. It says that to show that I’m rehabilitated, I must be in school and employed. Luckily, I got a job at school and am currently in school. But this job doesn’t give enough hours, therefore I’m looking for another job. This job I’m applying for does background checks for sure. I clicked “no” for if you have a criminal record..because I saw that I can click no if “the case was dismissed and you were given probation”. I was given a fine, took a class and that was that. Was it wrong for me to put “no” on the application?
      Dear Samantha: Since you weren’t “convicted” of a crime, your answer was correct. The purpose of a diversion program is to keep you from having a record that would appear in a background check. If you didn’t see a judge, plead guilty or be found guilty by the court, you don’t have a “criminal record.” Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Blake Hay
      Thu, 17 Nov 2011 at 04:27

      I’m 17 , I have two battery charges and a few trespasses to the mall. I was hoping to get these erased when I turn 18 so that i can go to the USMC. Is this possible?
      Dear Blake: You’ll have to check with either your probation officer, if you have one, or the juvenile court you were in for these charges. The court may have a web site you can refer to. You don’t necessarily need a lawyer to apply to have your record sealed or expunged. That’s your decision. Every state has rules about juvenile records and the process for sealing them. Not all crimes can be erased from the record, particularly felonies. You may have to wait until you’re 21 or 25, as in some states to take these off your record. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Kym
      Thu, 17 Nov 2011 at 11:40

      I have a question about my ex. We had a child together and I found out when our child was 3 weeks old that he’s a registered sex offender. He’s hidden due to the face he was 10 when it happened. He’s an alcoholic and drug user. (It’s completely hearsay to a judge)-but his sister came out to me after a few months that he molested her as well, and if she had reported this when it happened he would have been charged as a repeat offender. I’m scared for the safety of my daughter. I don’t want him near her. He’s been to jail and is suicidal and even has a PPO on him for threatening his step-mom. Can a judge pull these up when in a custody/visitation case? Mostly the minor sex offense since it’s hidden?
      Dear Kym: The judge may become aware of his history depending on the laws in your state about juvenile records. If the juvenile record still exists it may be available for limited purposes to law enforcement or a court. You can speak with a defense attorney about this or a family law attorney if you have one for custody/visitation issues regarding your daughter. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Samantha
      Fri, 18 Nov 2011 at 01:41

      How are you considered “convicted” of a crime when you a juvenile?
      Dear Samantha: “Convicted” is not a term usually used in juvenile court. If a minor is determined responsible for breaking the law, he or she is referred to as “adjudicated” accountable for the offense. Language differs between juvenile and adult criminal court. Just as adjudicated teens are referred to as “delinquents,” adults are referred to as “convicts” or having been “convicted.” We hope this is helpful.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Tanya
      Sun, 20 Nov 2011 at 02:30

      Hi. i live in Washington. i am currently 17, but when i was 15 i was pled guilty to the crime(s) of Accomplice to burglary in the second degree and minor in possession of alcohol, I then went to court, served my community service hours and payed all the fines & fees, i was on probation for a year while on a program called “Differed Disposition” i fully complied with the terms that were ordered, so the order was vacated and the case was dismissed. so as i’m 17, still in school and yet haven’t been in trouble with the law.. iv learned my lesson. and as i am still in school i’m planning to go into criminal justice to be a cop. so my question here is will i be able to get into that field with that criminal record? (and its been sealed and the court has said that it will come off my record as soon as i finish the deferred disposition program.) iv been wanting to know the answer to this question because if i wont be able to go into that field that i would be wasting my time. hope its all understood.
      Dear Tanya: Since you went through deferred disposition and the charges were ultimately dismissed, the incident should not prevent you from becoming a police officer. Because you will be applying with a law enforcement agency, they may conduct a background check that will include your juvenile record. Every state is different when it comes to dismissed charges and diversion type programs. In other words, your juvenile record may show the original charges, but that they were dismissed or it may not show anything. Request a copy of your juvenile record through the court, so you can see what, if anything, appears on it. Also, you can always contact a community representative or recruiter from the police department to explain your circumstances and find out whether there will be any issue with you applying. Best of luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Juan
      Sun, 20 Nov 2011 at 04:24

      I’m i able to leave the country is I have a court date pending for terroristic threats. If I comeback before the court date????
      Dear Juan: It is unlikely that you can leave the country if you have criminal charges pending. If you have a lawyer, contact him/her to find out. Otherwise, you can call the court and find out what the “conditions of release” are in your case. Often the court orders that the person do not leave the jurisdiction (town or city) without the court’s permission. So, you may be able to file a request to leave the country and explain why you need to leave, the dates of travel, etc. and let the judge decide. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Mariah
      Sun, 20 Nov 2011 at 12:57

      Hi(: I’m Mariah yesterday I got caught stealing at the mall they did not finger print me but took my picture and called my mom. I live in state of California and I was wondering how this might affect me lik when I’m applying now for college, I’m currently 17 and want to know how it will affect my career if I want to be a registered nurse. And the officer said I might get diversion but I am completely sure since it recently happened.
      Dear Mariah: The store could choose to send you a civil demand letter requesting payment of a civil fine. If this occurs and you pay the fine, you may not have to go to court or have anything on your record. However, if charges are filed, you’ll receive a notice in the mail to appear in court. If you are offered a diversion program and successfully complete the terms, then the charges will be dismissed and again, you may not have anything on your record. (You will not have a record of a conviciton if you complete diversion.) Once your case is over, request a copy of your record, so you can see what exactly, if anything, appears on it. It is unlikely that this incident will affect your school and employment opportunities in the future. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • John
      Tue, 29 Nov 2011 at 11:18

      If you were arrested before 18 and was charged as a juvenile for violation of probation of a misdemeanor In New York State. Do this stay on your record and if “yes” will any one find out. For example, government jobs such as military or F.B.I? Asking because I shoplifted when I was 13 and got probation and violated a couple of times. Now I’m a High honor roll student and enlisted in the Navy doing better things in my life as a man. Can this hinder me.
      Dear John: First, congratulations on your post-rebel years. If you’re enlisted in the military they probably ran a background check and nothing appeared on your record. Otherwise, you would have discussed these incidents with your recruiter. You can check with the court you were in to see if a record exists. If there is a record, you can apply to have it expunged. Here is a New York government web site with information about the expungement process. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Rosie
      Thu, 01 Dec 2011 at 10:59

      I’m 18 years old and I was caught shoplifting. I went to a hearing recently and I was told that my case would remain open, and that after a year, it would be destroyed. I’m also applying to college and I was wondering if colleges would be able to see that or not? and how badly would it affect their decisions.
      Dear Rosie: It sounds like you’re participating in a “diversion program.” If that’s the case, at the end of the year when you complete the program successfully, the case will be dismissed and you won’t have a record that would appear on a background check. If you didn’t plead guilty or were sentenced by a judge, there won’t be an official record of this incident. However, there’s no guarantee that a college won’t discover this and take it into consideration. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Dee
      Mon, 05 Dec 2011 at 11:04

      Hi, my friend and I made a foolish mistake of shoplifting when we were 16. This was my only time I have ever gotten in trouble with the law. I’ve had a part-time job in retail with the same company since I was 15. I am now 21, and a senior at a state university in Florida. I wish to apply for a corporate job within the same company that I still work for since I will soon have the degree and experience I need. My question is since I never told ANYONE, (bosses, other employees, etc) what happened when I was so young, I am scared that when I apply for this job it will come out. I had my record exponged after it happened. When the application asks if I have ever been arrested/convicted, can I answer no? Can their HR department find out about this? It was so long ago and I have forgotten about the incident until I saw it on the application. Thank you!
      Dear Dee: The term “convicted” usually applies to adults in the criminal system. The juvenile system refers to detention, adjudication and disposition instead of jail, trial and sentencing. Language in applications is very important. Read every question carefully and answer truthfully. If your juvenile record has been expunghed, there should be nothing that would appear on a background check. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Dionte
      Tue, 13 Dec 2011 at 02:50

      Hi, I was wondering if I was charged as a juvinile for a felony when I was 17 and recieved probation but did not get of till I was 18 due to finishing school as a requirement of probation, can I get a CA guard card?
      Dear Dionte: We’re not sure what a “CA guard card” is, so if you tell us, we’ll get right back to you.

    • Amir Naeem
      Tue, 13 Dec 2011 at 08:21

      Hey man, I have read all your replies and I got to say I respect your help and knowledge. Im 17 years old and I just got fined in CT for possession of less than a half ounce of marijuana ($185). this was my first offense and Im unsure if i want to pay the fine and have my records destroyed later or plead not guilty now…im confused.
      Dear Amir: If you have to appear in court, when you go you’ll meet with a probation officer who will explain the process to you. If you plead not guilty, a trial will be set. If you admit it now, you may be offered “diversion.” Once you finish the diversion program, the case will be closed and you won’t have a record. You can also speak with a lawyer before you go to court for advice. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Sam
      Wed, 14 Dec 2011 at 08:57

      Hi. Recently I was at a Walmart store with 2 friends who stole, and I made an honest purchase. But because I was with them and did not try to stop them, I was filed as an accomplice. Police were NOT involved and no one was arrested. My friends were guaranteed a fine and it is possible I will get one too. The woman said this would be on my record until I am 18 (I’m 17 now). But because no police were not involved is it truly on my record? And when filling out applications, will I have to say that I was convicted of a misdemeanor?
      Thanks!
      Dear Sam: Since the police weren’t involved, you haven’t been formally charged with shoplifting or as an accomplice, and you haven’t been “convicted” of a crime. The record the store person mentioned means the store’s records for internal use only. You don’t have an official record that would appear in a background check. You shouldn’t have a misdemeanor, felony or pettyy offense on your record. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • chris
      Wed, 21 Dec 2011 at 11:55

      when i was 14 i had a domestic violence charge.whuich means it cant be expunged..however will my college i apply to and future health care employers be able to pull this up? is my future career ruined?
      Dear Chris: There are a few things you can do to clear this up. First, check with the court you were in and ask about your record. If it still exists, ask about applying to have it sealed or expunged. You can check online if the court has a website. It’s a simple form to complete and file with the court. You don’t necessarily need a lawyer for this. If you were on probation for the incident when you were 14, contact that person and ask about the process to clear your record. This shouldn’t affect the rest of your life, either employment or educational pursuits. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Chance Alderman
      Wed, 21 Dec 2011 at 08:57

      I was wondering if I could get a DUI expunged or sealed in the state of CA. I was 16 when the incident happened, and now I am 19. The DMV has pulled my license just recently and told me that I need to get an sr22 before I can get my license back. On top of that, I will have to keep my insurance for three years without dropping it. Why wasn’t I notified of this when I first received my license? Due to the fact that I was only 16 when I received the DUI, I thought I might be able to get it expunged/sealed, and I won’t have to worry about dealing with the sr22. I was told that having an sr22 will greatly rise my insurance cost as well. I have since been pulled over for no registration on one occasion, and no insurance on the other. My car is registered and insured now. Please help Judge Tom!
      Dear Chance: Take a look at this website for information in California regarding clearing/expunging your record. You could also check the website of the court you were in and see if they explain the process and have an online application you can complete and file with the court. You don’t necessarily need a lawyer for this. Before applying for expungement you have to be eligible meaning certain crimes have longer periods of time that you must wait before getting your record cleared. DUI may be one of those offenses, considering the seriousness of the crime. As far as the DUI affecting your license, that is a legal matter with the department of motor vehicles. You have to meet their requirements in order to have your license reinstated. Why you weren’t advised of this at the time, we don’t know. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Shametria
      Thu, 22 Dec 2011 at 12:04

      Now although never arrested or convicted(at least i dont think i was) of a crime I completed community service and 6 months probation when i was 17.I was processed in Virginia because i was accused of having stole a co-workers credit card(i worked in Arlington at the time) and using it in a drug store.Do to “circumstantional” evidence my public defender suggested just pleading guilty in exchange to have my charges filed as misdameanors.My Parent aggreed.So i did my service hours and checked in regularly and i was told that by my 18th birthday my records would be “expunged and/or sealed”. I just turned 19 on the 14th and i was wondering if there was something i was supposed to do that i was not aware of to make sure the expungment happened or if they do it automatically in Virginia after a certain period of time
      Dear Shametria: Check this website and scroll down to “Sealing and Expunging…Records” to find the relevant information and laws in Virginia. You could also try contacting the court to ask for a copy of your record and whether or not you need to do anything to get your juvenile record destroyed. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • richard
      Thu, 22 Dec 2011 at 02:34

      ok so i was conficted of a sex crime when I was 10 years old in Michigan, I received papers stating that my record is now closed(and no longer have to register on the michigan state sex offender site.) I am now 25 years old and live in kentucky. I moved here before this new law was put in play. kentuckys law states that sex offenders moving from another state no matter the minority of the offence must register for life. I was only suppose to register for 25 years. I have not so much as gotten a traffic violation in 15 years. What are my chances of getting my name taken off the kentucky sex offender list, and getting my juvinile record cleared? what forums would I have to fill out should I get a lawyer? Thank you for any help you can give me.
      Dear Richard: Attempting to get off Kentucky’s sex offender list and getting your juvenile record expunged or destroyed may be two separate matters. We suggest you contact a local criminal attorney in your area who handles expungement, etc. of criminal records. He/she should be able to provide more information and let you know whether it’s possible to get off the registry. Here is some additional language concerning the issue from the website Beforeyouplea.com:

      If a juvenile was convicted of a sex offense in adult court in another state, the juvenile is required to register as a sex offender in Kentucky.[162] Furthermore, if a juvenile was required to register in his state, the juvenile must register in Kentucky even if the juvenile would not have had to register for the same offense in Kentucky.[163] Consequently, youth who were disposed of in their home states in juvenile court and NOT convicted in adult court are on Kentucky’s sex offender registry and personal information about them can be found including their photograph and address.

      Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Austin
      Thu, 22 Dec 2011 at 09:30

      Hey I live in Indiana and when I was 16 me and my friend made a stupid mistake inovlving a mailbox no charges were pressed we had to sit down and talk to the sheriff about what happened he then gave us 4 months probation and 20 hrs of community service and I completed those with no problems. Now and 18 and want to get my Indiana Pistol Permit and was wondering if this would effect me in getting it.
      Dear Austin: Every state differs regarding the use, possession and ownership of firearms. Google “Indiana firearms laws” for information about this. On the permit application there may be restrictions listed as well. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Bill
      Thu, 22 Dec 2011 at 08:51

      I was ticketed for a DUI in Nebraska when I was 17, we do have a diversion program. What do you think should be the outcome? I want to play division one college sports. I do a lot of community service for school and I made an honest huge mistake. Any thoughts?
      Dear Bill: The outcome of a DUI depends on the laws in your state. Attached here is a website offering information about the DUI laws in Nebraska. They may not be current so check Google for the latest statute.
      http://dui.drivinglaws.org/nebraska.php
      Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Josh
      Sat, 24 Dec 2011 at 01:25

      when i was 16 i looked at kiddie porn and i want to join the army. But the only thing is stopping me is the kiddie porn. Im 19 now and i dont look at any kind of porn. My probation officer and a police officer i talked to said in the state of Pennsylvania that all records are cleared of the age of 18. Also i was not trailed as an adult. I payed my dues and got out a week early. And i still cant join the army or any military branch because of it. should i get a background check or what should i do?
      Dear Josh: The laws vary from state to state concerning the destruction of juvenile records. You could try asking the clerk of the court how to begin the process to request the expungement of your record. In some states, you may have to wait until you are 18 or even older before you can make this request. For the specific laws in your state, you could try Googling “Pennsylvania destruction or expungement of juvenile record”. You also can try talking to an Army recruiter to find out whether a juvenile record that is expunged would be a problem at all and what you need to do to join the Army. Finally, check out this website about the various kinds of consequences of a juvenile record and the expungement process (click on your state). Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Sam
      Sat, 24 Dec 2011 at 08:19

      When I was just under 16 years of age I committed a felony and was sent to juvenile hall. Thankfully, the felony is not listed under the welfare code that prevents your record from being sealed. It was still a sex crime though, so I worry about future job opportunities. It’s been over 9 years and since then I haven’t been in trouble at all. I graduated high school with honors and a 4.2 GPA; I am pursuing a degree in mathematics followed by a Masters in mathematics, then I’d like to teach math at a community college. I’ve always loved math and helping others… my childhood was very rough and now that I’ve put everything in perspective I find it difficult to take the next step after earning my degrees. I really want to have a normal shot at life and I am very lost as I decide what to do next. Do junior colleges (aka state of california) have access to juvenile records that have been sealed? If not, then who does (exactly who)? And if they do, then what are my options or best bets for making a living? I have a much more spiritual outlook on life now and although my childhood was characterized by difficult times, I have a son of my own now (1 year old) and my eyes get watery sometimes just thinking that I wont be able to provide for him because of my previous records. What do I do? Please help.
      Dear Sam: First, you may want to request a copy of your record so you can see exactly what appears on it and whether your record has definitely been sealed. Also, you could contact the court and ask how to begin the process to get your record destroyed or expunged as a sealed record does not necessarily mean that it’s been destroyed. Finally, take a look at this website and click on California to find out more about who can access your juvenile records in California. Congratulations on doing well in school and don’t let your past prevent you from following your dreams. Keep up the good work.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • jordan
      Sun, 25 Dec 2011 at 06:02

      when i was 17 my friend had a nude pic of someone on her cell but it was under my name for somereason and i allmost got changed as a sex afender but the mom didnt wanna charge im now 18 and i live in canada if the mom didnt wanna charge me would that mean that wouldint be on my juvenile record
      Dear Jordan: If you didn’t get charged with a crime, didn’t go to court or see a judge about this, you don’t have a formal criminal or juvenile record. To satisfy your curiosity about this, contact the court you would have been in and ask if they have anything on you. If they do, ask about the process to clear/expunge your record. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Derek
      Tue, 27 Dec 2011 at 02:03

      I was involved in a second degree robbery with my friend when i was 15 and went to juvenile hall for 4 months. Now I’m 17 almost 18 and I’m trying to get into the marines. If I expunge my juvenile record when I’m 18 do I tell the recruiter about my charge and will they still approve my enlistment? Can they still see my juvenile record if its still expunge?
      Dear Derek: It depends on the laws of your state as well as the type of background check the Marines will conduct. Check out this website (and click on your state) for more information concerning the laws in your state. You also could talk to a recruiter and ask whether an expunged juvenile record would be an issue at all. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Hugo
      Wed, 28 Dec 2011 at 06:20

      Hello there! After reading a few posts I decided to post one myself. When I was 15 i was convicted of a felony as a minor and served 8 months in juvi. Got out. Paid all my court ordered fees and served my years of counceling. Im 21 now and have a job in disney in CA. I might get a new job with a bank and im due for fingerprinting on friday. Now I said i never been convicted of a crime on the application and my background check came back clear. But Im worried that my record might show up. Now my questions are as follows. Should I worry about it? Is it too late to close my records? If it didnt pop up for disney will it pop up for a bank? I keep saying to myself that it wont but i still dont know. Ps. I have been a great citizen since. No tickets, no arrest since my last one when I was 15. Graduated college and all. So what should I do. And thank you for your time!
      Dear Hugo: To give you some peace of mind, you can contact the court you were in and ask about your record: if you have one and how to have it cleared or expunged. The court may have a website (many courts do today) that walks you through the expungement process. There may be an online form you can complete and file with the court. You could also check with the probation officer (if he or she is still with the court) that was assigned to your case. Or your lawyer at the time, private or public defender. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Christian
      Tue, 03 Jan 2012 at 09:34

      I was charged with a Dui, and MIP. I was charged when 17 and will be turning 18 before my court date on March 7th. I blew a 0.38 at my truck and only a 0.26 at the station. I passed my subrioty test. I was wondering what to expect in court, I live in Arkansas. Someone told me my charges may get dropped bc I turn 18 before my court date and I was charged when 17.
      Dear Christian: As you know, anything can happen in this world. But just because you turned 18 before you have to go to court doesn’t mean the charge will be dismissed. Think about it – wouldn’t people go out and do all sorts of illegal things just before their 18th birthday thinking they could get away with it because they’ll be 18 soon? As a consequence you may escape getting “adult” penalties since you were a minor when this happened. That depends on the laws in your state. Make sure you don’t miss the hearing or the judge may issue a warrant for your arrest. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • mike brown
      Wed, 04 Jan 2012 at 11:50

      If I have been charged with assault 2nd degree when I was 15 will I be able to enlist in the marine corp when i turn 17
      Dear Mike: That depends on what happened with the charge. If you completed a “diversion program” for the assault charge, you should have a record that would appear on a background check. That’s the purpose of diversion – to keep an offense when you’re a kid from affecting you as an adult. If you have a juvenile record, look into having your record cleared or expunged. It also depends on the individual service. The Marines have their own enlistment qualifications and hopefully your past won’t affect your ability to join. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Shawn
      Wed, 04 Jan 2012 at 10:25

      when i was 16 i was accused of slapping my ex girlfriend in the face when i went to court the charges were assult. her family lowered the charges to disorderly conduct which is a misdemeaner because i was afraid of losing my EMT license. now i am 18 and have to get a child abuse clearence for school bus driving will that show up as a child abuse charge and ruin my chances of being a bus driver in PA???
      Dear Shawn: Unless you’ve had your juvenile record cleared or expunged, a background check may disclose this incident. You can contact the court you were in for the assault charge and ask about the expungement process. You may be able to apply online if the court has a website. You don’t necessarily need a lawyer to do this, that’s up to you. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Simone
      Thu, 05 Jan 2012 at 04:11

      Hi my name is Simone and I was fired from my job 2 days ago for arguing with a co worker. When I go to apply for another job, will I get the job? Do I have to tell them I was fired or should I say this will be my first job?
      Dear Simone: We can’t tell you if you’ll be hired by a future employer. That is his or her decision based on your qualifications for the job. We recommend that you answer all questions on any application truthfully. Good luck.
      (Th is information only – not legal advice).

    • phillip
      Fri, 06 Jan 2012 at 03:58

      Hi judge. Im 23 years old and been arrested when I was a juvenile for a few misdemeanors and a couple felonies. I’m in college and about to apply for a EMT and paramedic program they offer there and was wondering what would be the best answer I could give to their CBC part on the application. Heres what is says : “Each applicant is required to inform the Program Coordinator in writing of any arrests (regardless of conviction) or criminal charges on his/her record in any state or national jurisdiction upon submission of an application for enrollment to the program. This information needs to include a personal explanation of circumstances for possible review by committee.” Could I simply say no since I was adjudicated as a minor? Should I try to get my juvenile record sealed, expunged? Or should I just wait until my 24th birthday when they’re “susposed” to automatically expunge it for me? Depending on the circumstances what would you do in my situation? P.S. My felonies were robbery and grandtheft which might disqualify me and I was adjudicated in and currently still reside in Florida.
      Dear Phillip: You’re correct about not being “convicted” since that’s a term reserved for adult crimes. However, the seriousness of your juvenile charges may prevent any expungement of your record. If you’ve been told that your record is automatically cleared at 24, that’s good. Take a look at this Florida government site for information about the expungement process. Read questions on any application you complete very carefully – language including words such as “felony, sentenced and conviction” may not apply to you since your offenses were as a minor. Answer them truthfully – otherwise if the background check comes back with an unreported incident, you’ll have some explaining to do. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Fernando
      Fri, 06 Jan 2012 at 04:27

      Hey judge I am. 17 years old and I had just recently been chqarge with fraud and something else because I used someones elses credit card to pay a $190 transaction I live In new mexico cann uyou maybe give me an idea on wut kind of sentencing I could be facing
      Dear Fernando: Take a look at this website for information about debit and credit card fraud in New Mexico.
      We can’t say what will happen to you since there are many factors considered in the sentencing process. Your criminal record, if you have one, will be considered, the prosecutor’s position as well as the victim’s and the policies of the court. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Jason Bower
      Sat, 07 Jan 2012 at 04:51

      @TaylorSzyarto @hellatommy http://t.co/wBdV0FXn

    • Alejandra
      Sat, 07 Jan 2012 at 09:02

      I’m 16, when I was 15 I was caught shoplifting. Now that I am applying for jobs I have a couple questions, my probation officer told me that if asked on a job application if ever convicted of a crime answer no, because it was a misdemeanor and I was detained not arrested. But another question asks if I have ever shoplifted, do I answer yes or no. I want to answer yes, but if I do, I’m a little scared about it, mostly I’m not sure. Thanks :)
      Dear Alejandra: Follow your probation officer’s advice as he/she should know how your case was resolved and how to answer any questions. You must not have been “convicted” of shoplifting and probably completed a diversion program in which case the charges would have been dismissed. Be sure to read any questions on the application very carefully so you can answer truthfully. If the question simply asks if you have shoplifted, then the answer would be yes, but if it asks if you’ve been arrested for shoplifting or convicted of shoplifting, then the answer would be no. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Alex B
      Sun, 08 Jan 2012 at 01:46

      I’m 17 planning on joining the millitary but I have been charged with 1 felony of attempt breaking and entering, If a good period of time passes and ive been doin good would the court destroy my records? even if not I just want to get in. I’m from VA so they are kinda harsh here though :/
      Dear Alex: Although your juvenile record may be “sealed” once you’re 18 or so, it most likely will not be automatically expunged. The laws vary from state to state concerning the destruction of juvenile records. You could try asking the clerk of the court how to begin the process to request the expungement of your record. In some states, you may have to wait until you are 18 or even older before you can make this request. For more information concerning the specific laws in your state, click here. If you have stayed out of trouble since the incident and successfully completed the terms of your sentence, it is likely that a judge would grant a request to expunge your juvenile record. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Danny
      Sun, 08 Jan 2012 at 02:38

      Danny
      from NY
      I was adjudicated as a minor at age 13 of a felony 3rd degree. I am know 38 and since 13 had no run in’s with the law. I have checked my FBI and NY DCJS records and both show NO records or fingerprints on file ( not even the sealed JD record). My question is I would like to posses a firearm permit and application asks if convicted of any offenses I can say No truthfully. Just wanted to know how my juvenile record show up in a background check?
      Dear Danny: Since you’ve already done a couple different background checks with no record appearing, it sounds like it’s unlikely your juvenile record will show up. However, you could contact the court where the charges were filed and request a copy of your juvenile record, so you can see exactly what’s on it. For more information about obtaining a firearms permit in NY, click here. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Sandra
      Sun, 08 Jan 2012 at 04:11

      Hi, I’m 17 and turning 18 in a few weeks. A month ago, I got caught shoplifting and the officer said it was petty theft and told me I’d be contacted for a court date. I’m worried. This is my first and last time shoplifitng. Will I be charged as an adult? Will this show up on a background check when I try and become a registered nurse?
      Dear Sandra: Since you’re almost 18, you may be charged as an adult. Because this is your first offense, you may be offered some type of diversion program. This means that upon successful completion of community service hours, payment of a fine/restitution and attending a class or counseling, the case will be closed and the charges dismissed. Therefore, you would not have a record of any conviction for the incident and it should not affect your career opportunities in the future. You will find out more when you go to your first court date and should have an opportunity to speak with a court or probation officer. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • josh
      Tue, 10 Jan 2012 at 12:10

      my name is josh. Im 15 years old and im in some stuff n need answers. One of my friends n another friend stole a gun out of a persons car. Well they showed me the gun and i know about it. This happened a week ago. Recently my name has been mentioned by someone that i know about the gun. Can they arrest or charge me for anything? Im not going to say anything about the gun. Im no snitch. But what should i do? Or what are my rights? Can they do anything to me with just my name being mentioned?
      Dear Josh: It depends on the laws of your state as well as the specific facts and circumstances. If the police believe they have enough evidence against you, it’s possible that charges could be filed. We understand you don’t want to be a snitch, but you don’t want to end up arrested or charged for something you didn’t do. You should talk to your parents or another adult you trust about the situation. If you’re worried about being charged with a crime, then you and your parents may want to consult with a local criminal attorney about the matter. Many attorneys offer a free intitial consultation. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Aria
      Sat, 14 Jan 2012 at 11:59

      Just before I turned 15, I got caught shoplifting for an amount that was under $10. I was banned from the store for a year, and had to go to the police station (via cop car, un-cuffed) and wait for my mom to pic me up. Once there, I had my mug shot taken, but canʻt remember if I had my finger prints taken (I think they mightʻve been). A few weeks later, I had to explain myself, and the crime I committed, to some guy in a room in the same building where courtrooms were located (but not in an actual court room and not in front of a judge). I was young and embarrassed, so I really canʻt remember what his actual position was. The gist of what I remember from the whole situation was him saying something along the lines of since I was a minor, if I didnʻt get into anymore trouble, that once I turned 18, this would be erased (I donʻt remember whether or not he used the words “erased” or “permanent record”). A few months later, I got busted in WalMart for being a shoplifting accomplice to a friend (STUPID, I know…). The value of the items taken were a lot more than my first offense, but since I was under 16, my picture was taken, I was banned from WalMart for a year, and was released to my mother. My friend, who was 16, was taken away by a police car. That sums up my criminal history. I am currently 28 years old, and plan on attending college for Forensic Sciences. When I graduated, I will be I will be around 32/3 years old. Will this level of criminal history prevent me from finding a job in this field? Will it be visible to potential employers upon a background check? I live in Hawaii by the way. Please help me. Am I wasting my time pursuing this career???
      Dear Aria: You may have completed a diversion program, but that usually involves community service and/or educational classes, which you didn’t mention. Therefore, you may have gotten lucky both times by being banned from the store and getting a warning by the police. To confirm whether there is any record with the court, try contacting the court and/or police department that was involved, explain the circumstances and ask for a copy of your record. It sounds like most likely you do not have a record since you never saw a judge and were not necessarily “arrested”. Therefore, these incidents should not affect your career options in the future. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Brittany
      Mon, 16 Jan 2012 at 12:05

      Hi my name is Brittany when I was 14 I got arrest 4 times changed with
      Assalt ,disorderly , disorderly , disorderly , and risisting arrest I went to court and got 6 mounts probation and told it would not be on my record now I turn 15 and got caught smoking a pip walking down the street and the cop went to stop me I ran then got into a fight with the cop and am headed to juvy if I do go to juvy will it show up on my record when I am older
      Dear Brittany: Depending on the specific laws in your state, your juvenile offenses may stay on your record beyond your 18th birthday. Every state has its own laws about juvenile records and when they are cleared. When you go to court for these recent offenses, ask about this. You can also Google the name of your state and “juvenile expungement” for information. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Tom
      Wed, 18 Jan 2012 at 03:05

      Hi, so I went on a road trip to Kentucky when I just turned 16 and decided to take up a friend’s bet which involved shoplifting. I was caught and pleaded guilty, I didn’t have to go to court but paid a fine, and so I’m wondering what do I put down in applications for jobs and colleges. I have no idea how the justice system works in Kentucky works so I thought I’d ask. (now 17)
      Dear Tom: It sounds like you may have paid a civil fine to the store and that no criminal charges were filed in court. If charges were not filed and you never had to go to court, then you do not have a record and can answer “no” to having any prior arrests, charges pending, convictions, etc. If you’re unsure who you paid the fine to and believe that it was through the court, then call the court and request a copy of your record so you can see whether anything is on it. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Kunta
      Wed, 18 Jan 2012 at 04:33

      When I was 17 years old in California I had a fight with my sister where the neighbors called the police. The police came and told me that since I hit my sister during the fight (There was no hospitalization involved; she had a bruise on her back which, they photographed) it would be considered a felony but “sealed” because I was 17 years old at the time. The police did not arrest me on the spot, because my parents came home and so I stayed home until the police left, my parents and I obviously had a long talk, and I went to bed that night (I obviously did not get any sleep.). The police did not handcuff me, and they did not fingerprint me, but they informed my parents to come to their police station the following month for a 5 week counseling session with their police psychiatrist. 1.) Is my juvenile record “sealed” and cannot be accessed by an FBI background search, a California state background search, and Live Scan? Or, would I need to have requested my record be officially sealed for them to be sealed and not appear on any of the criminal background checks I mentioned above? 2.) I am also residing outside of the United States right now and there are companies abroad that request a copy of an FBI criminal background check. Will my sealed record show up in an FBI criminal background check? Or to avoid all of this, would it be best if I showed up in person in front of a judge to have my record completely expunged (destroyed)?
      Dear Kunta: It sounds like you may have completed a diversion program. As long as you successfully completed the diversion program, then you do not have any record of a conviction. However, sometimes a person’s arrest record will show up on a background check, so if you were placed under arrest it’s possible that it could show up. Try contacting the police department that handled the incident (or the court if charges were ever filed) and ask for a copy of your record so you can see exactly what, if anything, appears on it. It’s not likely that this incident will show up as the purpose of diversion is to give offenders a second chance by allowing them to avoid obtaining a record for minor offenses, but glitches in the system occur, which is why it’s a good idea to get a copy of your record. If anything appears on your record, then you can ask how to begin the process to get your record expunged. Best of luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Dustin Richardson
      Thu, 19 Jan 2012 at 02:53

      I will try to make this short. A a juvenile i was convicted of 3 res burgs , 2 attempted res burgs and a 1st degree theft. With restituion over $25,000 dollars which im currently paying on monthly. Unfortunently i have been told that i cant get my record sealed until my restitution is fully paid off. But thes charges are preventing me from getting a job and if they never go away i will not be able to ever pay the cours off. my main question is if i were to bring this point up to a judge do they have the power to expunge my record and keep me ona payment plan so i have the abiliy to find a decent paying job t osupport my family with nd make larger payments to the ourts on thes fines? Im 20 yeras old and have a daughter to raise andi dont want her to suffer because of my mistake as a juvenile.
      Dear Dustin: A judge is only authorized to act according to the laws in your state. You can check with your probation or parole officer to see what may be done about your record while paying off the restitution. However, what you describe is the common practice in most states. Having the restitution hanging over your head keeps the payments current – the sooner it’s paid off, the sooner your record can be cleared or expunged. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Cecilia
      Thu, 19 Jan 2012 at 04:55

      Hi! my name is Cecilia. I was arrested back in 2007 when I was around 16 I was charged with battery not sure if is a felony/misdemeanor. The case was sealed. This incident happened in florida. where am currently living. I am now 21 haven’t committed any offense ever sence, can my background be completely destroyed or expunged, so that my future employers/schools won’t have accesses to them?
      Dear Cecelia: It is possible to clear your record. Take a look at this Florida government website for information about the expungement process.
      Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Jerry
      Fri, 20 Jan 2012 at 10:59

      hi, on march 2011 I was arrested at the border for drug trafficking. I had just turned 17. At court they gave me a year of probation but they released me in 5 months because of my good behavior. Last week I received a letter saying that my case was going to be sealed in 60 days because I’m going to turn 18. Im going to college right now but I would like to know if I can still join the law enforcent after my case gets sealed.
      Dear Jerry: Since this incident occurred when you were a minor and your record is going to be sealed, it should not affect your ability to get a job in law enforcement. However, your record being “sealed” is not necessarily the same as your record being destroyed or expunged. You could try asking the court or probation officer about the process to destroy/expunge your record in your state. Many laws require that you are 18 or older before you make such a request and have the court consider expunging your record. Check out this site and click on your state for more information concerning the laws in your state. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Sunita
      Sun, 22 Jan 2012 at 03:13

      Hello,

      I would like to know if I was convicted as a minor for domestic battery will this affect my approval for a gun license. If so, can getting it expunged change my approval status ? Thank you.
      Dear Sunita: You need to look to the laws in you state concerning gun permits, etc. Try doing a quick Google search including the name of your state and “gun permit or license” to find out the requirements for the application process and the criminal background check that will be conducted. Getting your record expunged may or may not be necessary depending on what you find out. Click here for more information about the firearm laws in your state. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • John
      Sun, 22 Jan 2012 at 12:52

      Hi i got a speeding ticket when i was 17 years old and was put on a 6 month probation period and had to take the drivers safety course. I took the course and all. After i turned 18 i got another speeding ticket within my 6 month probation period. What will the judge do? Take my license? I do not know what he is gonna do and i am worried. I am in Virginia.
      Dear John: The possible penalties will depend on the traffic laws in your state as well as the rules and policies of the DMV. Typically, if it’s just a civil speeding ticket (not a “criminal” one), then you may have to pay a fine and some points may be deducted from your license. It is possible that your license could be suspended temporarily if you already have too many points against it. You could try checking your state’s DMV website to find more information. Otherwise, you will find out more when you go to court and should have an opportunity to speak with a court or probation officer. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Ryan
      Mon, 23 Jan 2012 at 02:51

      So if you’re arrested for shoplifting in another state and you pleaded guilty and paid the fine, but didn’t have to show up to court or do any community service what happens then? (17)
      Dear Ryan: If that’s what happened, then the case was handled as a non-criminal matter. Similar to receiving a traffic ticket – once the fine is paid the case is closed. You can check with the court to see if you have a record from the incident. You probably don’t, but if there is one, ask about the process to have it cleared or expunged. You may be able to apply for expungement online. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Jody
      Tue, 24 Jan 2012 at 03:01

      If I have a sealed juvenile record from 15 years ago that does not show up on an FBI fingerprint background check, do I have the legal right to not disclose this record for on a visa application for another country (I am a U.S. citizen trying to get a work visa in another country)? The sealing order specifically states “Henceforth, the proceedings in this case shall be treated as if they had never occurred, and the Respondent may reply accordingly to ANY inquiry about the events which are the subject of the records herein.”
      Thanks so much for your advice.
      Dear Jody: AsktheJudge.info does not provide legal advice to adults or teens. So, we can’t tell you how to answer questions on applications.The language you quoted seems pretty clear – you can treat your sealed records as if they don’t exist and answer questions about the incident accordingly. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Johnathan Jones
      Tue, 24 Jan 2012 at 11:52

      Dear Judge Tom,
      When I was around the age 12-13(seventh grade)in Macon, GA I made a wrong choice with the wrong people and brought pot to school and naturally, got caught with it. They sent me to an alternative school where they search you everyday and etc. I was given 3 months of involuntary justment(or injustment, something like that…I forget exactly.). However, that was my bad decision, I took a family trip to FL to see other family and my grandmother bought me a pocket knife which I bestowed in my binder for the remainder of the family vist.I happened to forget about it(the knife in the binder) and took the binder to this alternative school the day after we got back because I would need it for my classes. Once again, naturally, they found it. This time it was an honest mistake and I had no intention on bringing something to school. I got charged with possesion of a deadly weapon. And served 12 months of court probation. Now that I have graduated highschool and am about to turn 19, I’m wanted to join the military. However, I told them about my juvenile history so I wouldn’t get kicked out for lying on my application if it were to come up and I said nothing happened. So they(Army and the Marines) sent off a basic background information check and nothing came back. But I know it’s there because I went through it all those years ago. Does this mean it is sealed or expunged since they can’t get access to it, or is the state of Georgia just not relenquishing the information? If you were me what would you do to make sure this is that or that is this(if you get what I’m asking)? And no I am not asking for legal advice, least it doesn’t sound like legal advice is what I’m asking for..I think. sorry for the life story. Please help.
      Johnathan.
      Dear Johnathan: It’s hard to say what exists as far as a record, but you may be eligible under Georgia law, to apply for expungement. It’s a simple process and one where you don’t need a lawyer. That’s your decision. Contact the court you were in and ask about the expungement process. Many courts have websites so you can go online and apply for expungement. You can also take a look at this Georgia website for information. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Ian
      Wed, 25 Jan 2012 at 03:33

      When I was 15 I was charged with 2 counts of aggravated sexual abuse >9 yrs old back in Illinois i was adjudicated. I’m now 24 yrs old. I have now had a single run in with the law since is there a way to go back and challenge that case or if not get my record expunged?
      Dear Ian: You may be eligible to apply to clear or have your juvenile record expunged. Every state has its own laws on this and they differ from state-to-state. Take a look at this Illinois government website for information.
      Scroll down to “Expungement of Juvenile Records.” Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Vincent
      Wed, 25 Jan 2012 at 11:30

      If I was convicted as a juvenile in Oklahoma for burglary of auto which is a felony there. I currently live in Texas and that charge is considered a misdemeanor. What do you think my chances as a peace officer looks like?
      I forgot to mention that I am currently in my mid 30′s.
      Vincent
      Dear Vincent: That depends on the policies of the department you’re aplying to and their requirements. You may be able to have your juvenile record cleared or expunged. Contact the court you were in by telephone or online. Many courts have websites that include online forms. You don’t necessarily need a lawyer for this process. It’s a simple form to complete and file with the court. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Ryan
      Sun, 05 Feb 2012 at 11:25

      Hi, so if you committed petty larceny in another state and was arrested and under 18 (16 years old now) what happens? because they sent me a letter for a fine, and it said if i paid the fine i’d be guilty, and wouldn’t have to appear in court so i paid it. Also during the arrest I had to call an adult to sign me out since I was under 18 and so I wanted to find out what exactly this mean. And if i am charged what can i do?
      Dear Ryan: If you already paid the ticket, that should be the end of it. You may receive in the mail confirmation or a receipt that you paid the ticket. If you lived in the area where this happened, it may have been handled differently. But since you’re out of state, charges and tickets are handled by payment of fines. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Izzy
      Mon, 06 Feb 2012 at 10:33

      I am 17 years old and had been charged for sexual abuse to my boyfriend who is a year younger than me. He had gone to DCFS to tell them about his moms problem with drugs and alcohol and how she was stopping him from seeing me. The guy asked if we have had sex so he said yes not lying in any way at all, the guy had charged me when me and my boyfriend both wanted to do what we did.. All we want is to be together but we are afraid that even when we are both over the age of 18 we can’t be. Can you help or give me any advice at all? We both truely love each other and want to be together..
      Dear Izzy: Since you’ve been charged with a crime, you’ll have a chance when you go to court to speak with a lawyer about this. If you plead not guilty, the judge may appoint a public defender to represent you. Tell your lawyer what happened and he or she will know how to present your case and defend you before the court. You may love each other but if your state has laws about sex with someone under a certain age, it’s best to follow the law or suffer the consequences of violating it. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Royce
      Wed, 08 Feb 2012 at 11:11

      Hi my friend (15 years old) recently got a 2nd Possession of marijuana ticket in wisconsin, ive been doing some research and basically ive gotten that Expungment is only avaliable for 1st time offenders obviously this seems wrong but i just wanted to see what your thoughts were on the chances of when he turns 18 it will be *destroyed* or expunged. If it affects the decision it was within 6 months.
      Dear Royce: It’s impossible to say what will happen in three years since laws change regularly. Take a look at this Wisconsin site for information about records and expungement. He can also ask his probation officer about this and the process for applying for a clear record. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Kira
      Thu, 09 Feb 2012 at 03:42

      Hi,When I was 17 I got caught shoplifting. The judge lowered my citation to a traffic violation, I attend a program and my charges were dropped to 30 dollars. I recently turned 18 and I was wondering, when I apply for jobs in the nursing field can they view my juvenile record? And also, will is stop me from being hired? Also I heard that once I am 18 my record will be cleared. Is this true? My mother talked to her lawyer and he said to get it expunged. I live in California. Thank you. -Kira
      Dear Kira: Take a look at this site for information about clearing your record in California. You can also check the website of the court you were in for information about expungement. They may have an onlion form you can complete and file. You don’t necessarily need a lawyer to do this. That’s your decision. If you completed a diversion program when you were 17, you shouldn’t have a record that will appear in a background check. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • porfirio cuevas
      Sat, 11 Feb 2012 at 11:32

      hi i hav a question im 21 now and im on parole for possesion of control substance i was givien years tdc ( texas department of criminal justice ) and i sevred 1 year and rest on parole but now parole is making me register as a sex offender because on my juvenile record i was given 2 years deffered probation when i was 14 years old and i completed and judge said i dont have to register. and now the police department said i have to register 10 years once a year , is this right can they use my juvenile record against me on my adult record. plz thank you for your time
      Dear Porfirio: It’s going to depend on the specific sex offender registry laws in your state. Here’s what this site has to say about the Texas law concerning juvenile offenses and sex offender registries: “A juvenile who is adjudicated of delinquent conduct or given deferred adjudication because of the commission of a sex offense may be ordered to register with the local law enforcement authority in the municipality where the offender resides. However, a juvenile who is placed on deferred adjudication may petition to the court to be excempted from registration.” If the judge in your juvenile case stated on the record that you do not have to register, you will want to get a copy of that record and/or your juvenile record showing the police department that you have been exempted from having to register. Otherwise, you could ask the court how you can petition to it in order to be exempted from registration. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • bobby brown
      Wed, 15 Feb 2012 at 09:04

      can a felony resisting arrest be expunged off your record and i had another charge that was dismissed does that come off my record and if not, why not?
      Dear Bobby: Every state has laws about clearing your record. The laws differ, so we can’t give you a specific answer. We suggest you Google the name of your state and “criminal expungement” or “expungement of juvenile record” if that applies to you. Some states require you wait for a number of years or until you’re a certain age (25, for example) before applying. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Amelia
      Wed, 15 Feb 2012 at 02:36

      hi i was convicted of a juvenile felony when i was 15 in ohio i did my probation and was released a little early i havent paid my fines but i am now 19 can i get a license? i complied with everything counseling,probation i just never had the money to pay my fines i now live in Florida can i now obtain a drivers license?
      Dear Amelia: Because you didn’t complete all of your probation terms, it may still be an open case under Ohio laws. You can check with your probation officer or the supervisor on the status of your case. Even though you said you were released early, the file may remain open or have been turned over to collections regarding the unpaid fines. Regarding a driver’s license in Florida, you may be able to if you meet all of their requirements. They may not have any knowledge or record of your juvenile history in another state. If you run into obstacles over this, contact a local lawyer for advice. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Sam
      Fri, 17 Feb 2012 at 02:59

      I live in Iowa and when I was 14 I was sent to a boys school on a 2nd degree sex crime that was committed when I was 12. I petitioned the courts at age 19 for my record to be sealed. The judge wanted me to see him, and had did a complete check with all parties I was involved with during my years until I was 18 and was pleased to inform me he would be glad to do this so I could do something productive with my life, because I gave them no trouble and learned from my mistake. He said it would take a month or so. Its been a year and although the local courthouse says it doesn’t show up, it shows up for every background check that is ran on me. I have asked a local attorney why this is, and he can only tell me it shouldn’t. What course do I have for getting this corrected. Also Is there any chance I can get into the militay, or will they always be able to view this? To make this story even more fraustrating, this involved a family memeber who has since apologied for lying about the whole thing. Unfortunantly I don’t know after all this time how any of this could help me.. I am now 21. And I could use all the help you could give me. Thank You.
      Dear Sam: Since you have already consulted a lawyer about this, we don’t know if there’s anything we can offer. You might check with the police department that was involved with the incident and apply to have their record cleared or expunged. Oftentimes when a court expunges a record, the judge’s order only applies to the record within the court system. It may not necessarily clear police department records. Provide a copy of the court’s order expunging your record to the police department. That would make it easier for them to decide to do the same thing. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Mickey
      Sat, 18 Feb 2012 at 01:45

      i got a mip recently and the state of texas suspended my license for a 180 days but i go to school full time and work part time is it possible for me to get a restricted license cause I do both?
      Dear Mickey: Take a look at the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles website for information about reinstating your license or obtaining a restricted one. It may be up to the court or MVD who issued the suspension. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Shauniece High
      Tue, 21 Feb 2012 at 10:28

      Can my record be expunged if I pleaded guilty of “MINOR in Possession of Alcohol”?
      I was found guilty and charged a fine. The fine was paid and I was 18 and hasn’t done anything since wrong, not even a traffic ticket and I am now 21.
      Dear Shauniece: You may be able to have your record expunged. Check with the court you were in for information about the expungment process. Go to the court’s website – there may be online forms you can complete and file. You could also check with the probation officer who handled your case when you were 18. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • John
      Fri, 24 Feb 2012 at 11:22

      My son was arrested at the age of 13 in Nevada for some terrible things and he is 17 now with a clean discharge from probation and no problams since. He is wanting to join the Army when he turns 18 but they said they wont accept him unless he gets it destroyed. I want to know what I can do if anything to help him.
      Dear John: There are several things you can consider. Contact his probation officer and ask about the expungement process for clearing/destroying his juvenile record. The court may have a website (many courts do today) where you can look into the laws regarding expunging a juvenile’s record. There may be an online form you can complete and file with the court. You don’t necessarily need a lawyer to do this. That’s your decision. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Juan
      Mon, 27 Feb 2012 at 07:42

      If I owe money for two misdemeanors I received when I was 15 for fighting,Do I have to pay before I get my records expunged? Or can I get my records expunged and not have to pay the money I owe?
      Dear Juan: It’s not likely that the court would clear your record with unpaid fines. In some states, the balance due becomes a civil judgment against you when you turn 18. In other words, it follows you into your adult life and can affect your future. Find out the amount due and pay it off as soon as possible. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • baylee
      Wed, 29 Feb 2012 at 05:11

      Im 16 years old and live in california. I recently got caught stealing from a store, they contacted the police. It also was my first run in with the law ever! But now i have to pay 2 fines, and have to go to a probation meeting. Once i pay my fines, and go to the probation meeting. And do what they tell me to do. Once i turn 18 will this affect me applying for jobs, or becoming a RN?
      Dear Baylee: It sounds like you’ll be involved with a “diversion” program. Once you complete the terms of diversion, the case will be dismissed and you won’t have a record that will affect the rest of your life. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Keem
      Thu, 01 Mar 2012 at 06:00

      What if it’s petit larceny at a young age like 15 or something and later on I want to join the marines
      Dear Keem: Find out from the court the final outcome of the case. If you completed a diversion type program, then the charges would have been dismissed and you would not have a record. If the incident still appears on your juvenile record, then talk to a recruiter for the Marines about this and find out whether you should ask the court to expunge or destroy your record before applying with the Marines. Best of luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Sam
      Fri, 02 Mar 2012 at 05:59

      Glad to report, I contacted the police department. They still showed my juev record. I then contacted the DCI, who stated they had the court order, but no one had done the computer entry to get it off the police record. They did this for me,and then forwarded it on to the FBI. My record is know ran at the police department and it is clear. Thank Goodness.
      Glad to hear this, Sam. A little follow up paid off. -ATJ.info

    • Barb
      Fri, 02 Mar 2012 at 07:18

      So my 19 year old son was charged with a 4th degree assault and sexual motivation special allegation when he was 10 the court dismissed the charges and supposedly sealed his record but when he tried to join the navy they found his record and said he could not enlist what do you suggest?
      Dear Barb: Check with the court and see if he can apply to have his record cleared or expunged. You may be able to do this online if the court has a website. You can also speak with a lawyer who practices in juvenile court for advice. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • MARIA
      Sat, 03 Mar 2012 at 02:18

      WHEN I WAS 15 YEARS OLD I GOT CHARGED WITH A MISDEMEANOR FOR SHOPLIFTING, BUT WITH NO CONVICTION. WILL THIS AFFECT WHEN APPLYING FOR A JOB? DO I STILL HAVE TO SAY THAT I WAS ARRESTED ON A JOB APPLICATION EVEN IF THERE WAS NO CONVICTION? AND CAN IT BE DESTROYED WHEN I’M OLDER?
      Dear Maria: If you didn’t go to court or plead guilty to a crime (shoplifting) then you weren’t “convicted” of anything. If you completed a diversion program, you shouldn’t have a record because that’s the purpose of diversion – to keep you from getting a record. Read all questions on applications carefully – if you’re asked if you were ever convicted and you haven’t been, answer no. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Chris
      Sun, 04 Mar 2012 at 12:55

      Dear Judge,

      I know this is a very weak charge compared to a felony, but when I was 17 or 18 not sure which age, i was charged with Truancy. I was bullied in highschool. I just recently found this was reported on my background check when i was sent a letter and turned down for a job and i am 25 years old now. I have a completely clean record and haven’t committed any crimes or even speeding tickets. Im trying to get my life turned around and start working and go back to school to become and R.N. I am worried sick that I will not be able to become a male nurse and be able to support my family because of a stupid mistake in highschool. I even graduated in 2006 and it is still on my record. I live in West Virginia and i need it expunged from my record. Should I worry about this because i know it hurt me from getting a job? Please, respond im worried sick and just want a change in life!
      Dear Chris: There are several approaches to clearing your record. If you remember the court you were in or would have been in for this truancy, contact them and ask about expunging your record. They may have a website you can access and apply online. You don’t necessarily need a lawyer for this. It’s your decision. You can also Google “West Virginia expungement of records” for information. Having a truancy in your past should not affect the rest of your life. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • bailey
      Sun, 04 Mar 2012 at 03:33

      hi im 16 years old i was speeding and i got a ticket but he marked me as a adult not a youth what should i do can i get away with this ticket now?
      Dear Bailey: As long as it is a civil speeding ticket where you need to pay a fine and not a criminal speeding ticket, it probably does not matter whether the officer marked you as a minor or an adult. Civil speeding tickets usually require payment of a fine and possibly attending a driving class, but do not affect your criminal record. You could contact the court just to let them know about the mistake on the officer’s part. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Jerome
      Sun, 04 Mar 2012 at 06:10

      Hi I am 18 years old and I got a misdemeanor charge of possesion of marijuana at school.this is when I was 15. I did some community service and took some classes and now I am going to seal my juvenile record. I was being stupid one night last week and smoked some marijuana at a party I went to. I was wandering that if I went to seal my juvenile record, would I get drug tested? I feel real stupid for doing it but now I’m scared. I live in Gwinnett county Georgia. Will I be drug tested when sealing my juvenile record? Please help.
      Dear Jerome: The laws vary from state regarding the sealing and/or destruction of a juvenile record, but generally, they do not require drug testing prior to the sealing of a record. Check out this site for more information about sealing your record in your state. Rather than risk being drug tested, it would be best to stay clean and sober. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Virginia
      Mon, 05 Mar 2012 at 12:30

      My name is Virginia I’m 19 years old, when I was a minor I try committing suicide . I’m now 19 trying to get my bachelors degree in criminal justice as a probation officer, I don’t know if my past will come between my dreams?
      Dear Virginia: Unless your health history is a matter of public record, which is unlikely, it shouldn’t have any affect on your future endeavors. Federal laws protect your mental health records with limited disclosure to anyone. Take a look at this post on AsktheJudge.info for information about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act regarding any mention of your personal issues in school records. You can also read about your privacy rights and the federal HIPAA law at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy. Discuss this with your parents or another adult that you trust and who knows your history who may have additional information. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Dylan
      Tue, 06 Mar 2012 at 11:20

      Good morning your honor. I got a felony charge when I was 17, I’m almost 19 now and I recently got a job at a Caribou Coffee store. I’d been hired for almost a week when my manager talked to me and said that my background check came up as “un-hireable”. I explained to her everything as best I could and she said she’d to everything she can to keep me. But I’m just wondering, why did this show up? I’m still on probation, but my probation officer told me that it shouldn’t show up and that I didn’t have to indicate I’d been charged with a felony on any job applications. So what can I do to for this? I’ve turned my life around a hundred and eighty degrees and I’m doing everything I need to legally, including gaining full time employment. I really want to keep this job but I’m afraid I won’t be able to.
      Dear Dylan: Your probation officer should be able to explain the laws that apply to you regarding the felony. In many states, felonies remain on a juvenile’s record for a period of time past the 18th birthday. You can also Google the name of your state and “expungement of juvenile records” for information. Or go to the court’s website to see if they have information about clearing your record. We hope you keep your job and get this straightened out. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • leonard
      Tue, 06 Mar 2012 at 03:57

      i was falsly charge with (luding a child) when i was 15. i went to court one time for my hearing. so i waited a long time and they told me that to go hame because the court was full and the accuser left because it was late.it been 2 1/2 years since i been call to court for my hearing. now that i am 17 i want to join the US Army and become a pilot in what i always dream of.i never got process or accuse of being guilty. now my question is would the US Army know that i been charge 2 1/2 years without being process?? and would my charge edventully dissovle or go away after so long of waiting.
      please i been wanting to fing out so long it will be great if you can tell me the answer.
      thank you!
      Dear Leonard: You would have to check with the court to see if there’s anything still pending regarding this incident. If you had a lawyer at the time, speak with him/her about this and explain your future enlistment plans. You can also check the court’s website for information about clearing your record if one exists. It’s usually a simple form you complete and file with the court. You don’t necessarily need a lawyer to do this. Ask your parents to help you out with this. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Brandon
      Thu, 08 Mar 2012 at 02:30

      When I was 13 I am now 22 I was arrested (in California) for a felony but never went to court. I was put on a diversion program my question is since I was put on a diversion program and not “convicted” would I still be able to become a cop?
      Dear Brandon: If you successfully completed a diversion program, there shouldn’t be a record of this incident or any obstacles to pursuing your career. The purpose of diversion is to keep you from getting a record that affects a person’s adult life. To be sure, you can check with the court you would have been in and see if they have a record of this. You can also check with the police department involved at the time. If a police record does exist, ask about having it cleared. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Brandon
      Thu, 08 Mar 2012 at 09:53

      Thank you for the advice. I did go to the courty and had them pull my record, it does show that I was arrested for the felony but completed the diversion program and charges were dropped. I also asked the cleark if this would keep me from applying for a law enforcment position and she said no , I will just have to be straight forward with the department. I do want to be straight forward with them I have nothing to hide I was 13 at the time and made an honest mistake and I did the punishment given. Would it be a good idea to have record sealed or could a department see that as me trying to hide something? (not asking for legal advice just what the department would see it as) would chances be better if I just left it and answered all the questions they may have?
      Thanks again, Brandon
      Dear Brandon: Your questions are valid and totally understandable. However, we can’t tell you what to do in this situation. Having them sealed may raise further suspicion for anyone doing a background check. Being straightforward about an offense when you were 13 and a clean record since may be the way to go. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • James
      Fri, 09 Mar 2012 at 11:56

      i am 17 but ill be 18 soon. My question is will my juvenile probation follow me past my 18 birthday if i dont complete it, if so what might the consequences be. By the way im in California
      Dear James: You have to look to the specific terms of your probation and the laws in California regarding juvenile probation. You can also ask your probation officer about this. Once you hit 18, you may be off probation unless you’re under the authority of the California Youth Authority in which case you may be supervised until age 21. There are other consequences of unsuccessfully completing probation. For example, if one of your probation terms required you to pay restitution to a victim or a fine to the court and you failed to do either of these, those wouldn’t necessarily disappear on your 18th birthday. They could be turned into a civil judgement against you and be reported to a collection agency and credit bureaus. Talk with your PO about this or a lawyer who can advise you how to proceed. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Shannon
      Sat, 10 Mar 2012 at 11:07

      Hi, I was caught on a school trip with marijuana and I’m 16, since I complied and gave them my cigarettes and told them the pipe and marijuana was mine they didn’t get the cops involved, but when I got back I had a series of meetings with the 2 schools I go to, I had to drop out of my home school and that means I’m no longer a student at my CTC school but on friday I had a meeting with them and they said this will all still be on my school record since there were no police involved, can this being on my school record stop me from going into the air force? And will this being on my school record stop me from being a nurse, or a teacher, or possibly a politician? I’m 16 I’m stupid I understand that, but something so juvenile and stupid shouldn’t hold me back for the rest of my life..help? :(
      Dear Shannon: Since the police were not involved and you did not go to court, you do not have a criminal record for this incident and therefore, it most likely will not show up on a background check. Although it’s possible that a school record could be part of a background check especially for certain law enforcement positions like the FBI, most employers are not going to do such an extensive background check. If you decide to go into the Air Force, you could ask a recruiter about the types of documents and records you will have to provide. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Alex
      Mon, 12 Mar 2012 at 04:26

      Tom, I am 21 and have an in as a doorman/valet at a nice hotel downtown. They want to hire me but have had to turn me down in the past due to my driving record. i have 3 or 4 tickets on my record but its been about a year and a half since the last one. Is this worth running by a judge? if so how do i go about doing this? I a very good driver, the tickets reflect my passion for automotive performance rather than irresponsibility
      Dear Alex: Your choice of words in describing your driving habits is great. However, they probably didn’t persuade the judge to dismiss your tickets. Check with your state’s motor vehicle department about clearing your record. You may be eligible to apply for expungement if this exists where you live. Or you can check with the court you were in and see if this is possible. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Willy
      Tue, 13 Mar 2012 at 12:55

      I was curious if I could be charged as an adult for for something I did at 12 , which I always feel ashamed and regret doing? ( sexual felony that was dropped to a misdemeanor and was sentenced to a group home and disclosed more in treatment) I live in Arizona. Thank you for everything
      Dear Willy: If you have already admitted to this incident when you were twelve and given a consequence, you can’t be recharged or tried again as an adult. If you disclosed additional acts while in therapy, your counselor does not report this to the police. You have privacy rights and counselors are not law enforcement officers. They can contact the police if you say that you’re going to commit a crime in the future but not about past behaviors. Good luck in treatment.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Cassidy Benedict
      Tue, 13 Mar 2012 at 01:37

      im 17 & got 3 felonies at the age of 14. have been on probation since then. i messed up a couple times & the courts adjudicated me to a program called POST in Denton County, TX. i completed the program completly, and was almost done with the aftercare when i suddenly got a wild hair up my butt. i decided to skip school & not care about probation. (My thinking was i have been on this for way too long, im a senior in HS and cant do anything. cant even go to prom. so f— this, ima do what i want anyways) well i got a warrant for violating probation. i did my 2 weeks and got out. i was “good” for 2 or 3 weeks and went off doing the same thing. ive been a “runaway” for almost 5 months. and i was wondering if all of this stuff will go away when i turn 18 since they cant charge me as a adult for a juvenile offense. or could they? and what about the warrant?
      Dear Cassidy: Sorry to hear about your situation but you have total control over your future. Your juvenile record doesn’t automatically disappear when you turn 18. It may be used against you at future sentencings as an adult if you get into more trouble. That depends on the crimes committed when you’re an adult and the specific laws in Texas regarding sentencing. Maybe it’s time to wake up and do what’s right unless you want to experience adult incarceration. It’s nothing like the juvenile facilities you’ve already been to and you probably won’t like it. Talk with your probation officer about cleaning things up now while you’re still a minor so you can start your adult life without having to constantly look over your shoulder. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Willy
      Tue, 13 Mar 2012 at 09:39

      Judge, If I already did my punishment and have changed my life completely with graduating high school and college and have not had any run ins nor done anything bad since I was 12, and like stated earlier disclosed information of other accounts while in treatment. Can I be charged now as an adult, for the other things I disclosed while in treatment ?
      Dear Willy: There are several considerations here that come into play here. Every state has what’s called a “statute of limitations” for charging someone with a crime. That means a shoplifting charge, for example, must be filed within a year or two of the incident. Otherwise, it can’t be filed because it passed the statutory deadline. So, it depends on what you’ve admitted doing, the time that has passed, the specific laws in your state regarding the crime and the time to file formal charges, and the protection you may have under the laws about counselor/therapist privilege. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Miles
      Sun, 18 Mar 2012 at 08:46

      Judge, I was arrested for going into an abandoned funeral home with my friend and spraying the fire extinguishers, there was little damage seen in our eyes but we were charged with the felony [Burglary], Will that go away when i turn 17? I live in Georgia and I’m 14 right now. Our court date is May 8th and I’m not sure whats going to happen. Will I be arrested, will I go on probation? Will I be able to live my career as a pianist? Will i be able to go to college?
      Dear Miles: When you go to court on May 8, a court or probation officer will explain the legal system to you. Since this is your first offense, you may be eligible for a “diversion” program. That means when you finish some community service, pay restitution, attend a class, etc. the case will be dismissed and you won’t have a record. If diversion isn’t possible, you may be placed on probation for a period of time. After you complete your probation period, ask about clearing your record. You may have to wait for a certain time, but expungement of juvenile records is common. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Dr. Larry J. Craighead
      Tue, 20 Mar 2012 at 12:55

      Dear Judge Tom,
      I just wanted to write, briefly, and tell you how thankful I am for good samaritans such as yourself. I strongly believe that every child/ teen deserves a second chance and some a third and fourth chance and that poor adolescent decisions should not burden us for the rest of ourlives. I am thankful regulary that I had someone as kind, careing, and as loving as you. Thanks for your information on “expunging” or erasing child hood offences. May God bless you and your family. “It will be measured unto you as you measure unto others” I believe you have alot to receive, Judge Tom.
      Dr. Larry

    • Mark
      Fri, 06 Apr 2012 at 12:06

      Hi i have been arrested for drinking in public and have bailed out. But a officer have asked me to go court. Do i still need to show up court or can i just skeep it and dont go? Will they throw a bench warrant on me if i dont go? This is at oahu thanks
      Dear Mark: If you have a court date to appear, it’s best to show up. Otherwise, the judge can issue a warrant for your arrest. That just complicates your life and you can avoid it by making it to court. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Daron
      Sat, 28 Apr 2012 at 01:23

      Hi I had a juvenile adjudication in Michigan over 20 years ago when i was 16. can this record be closed or removed ? I havent been in any more trouble since . And if so how do I go about doing it ? Thank you in advance for your reply
      Dear Daron: The laws vary from state to state concerning the destruction of juvenile records. You could try contacting the clerk of the juvenile court and ask how to request the expungement of your record. For the specific laws in your state, you could try Googling your state’s name and “destruction or expungement of juvenile record”. Since youu have stayed out of trouble since the incident over 20 years ago and if you successfully completed the terms of your sentence, it is likely that a judge would grant a request to expunge your juvenile record. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • joseph
      Wed, 02 May 2012 at 07:27

      i was 15 when i got arrested its a juvenile case it was at family court in new york now am18 years old and i am trying to join the army but they dont accept efelony. I was charged with an efelony when i was15 at family court in new york now am wondering if that can get expunged or decreased to a misterminner
      Dear Joseph: There are a few ways to approach the expungement or destruction of your juvenile records. You can contact your probation officer at the time and ask about how to go about requesting this from the court. Or you can go on the court’s website for information and forms. Here is a website with information about expungement in New York. Good luck.
      http://expungement.uslegal.com/expungement-of-criminal-records/new-york-expungement-law/
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Ivie Nance
      Fri, 04 May 2012 at 08:27

      Hi Judge Tom,
      I am hoping you can give me some advice. I live in Ohio,and when my brother was seventeen he was charged with aggravated assualt and tampering with evidence in the murder of a man his friend stabbed to death. Chris was tried as an adult and given five years. He refused parole when it was offered and did the whole time as he told the parole board that was the least he could do to make it up to the family of the victim. He has been out and well behaved for about twelve years now. He has no troubles with the law, lives quietly with his kids and wife and holds down a full time job. but, he would love to get his record removed or expunged and is afraid to find out whether he can or not. Could you tell us if Ohio would let this occur? And who would we contact to find out for sure? Thank you for listening to this.
      Dear Ivie: Below is an website with information about the expungement process in Ohio. You can also contact the public defender’s office for help with this or contact a criminl defense lawyer for assistance. Good luck.
      http://www.clelaw.lib.oh.us/Public/Misc/FAQs/Expungement.html
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Rhonda Pritchett
      Tue, 29 May 2012 at 01:04

      In Texas my 14 year old son was given a ticket at school for being under the influence wit marijuana, by the school police. My question is, is this a felony or a misdemeanor? He and a group of kids where caught on video tape. And is differed adjudication what we are to do and what is that?
      Dear Rhonda: It is most likely a misdemeanor and not a felony if he’s not already on parole or probation. When you go to court with him for the ticket, everything will be explain ed to you. He may be eligible for a diversion program depending on his record and the policies of the court and prosecutor. Once he completes diversion (work hours, a fine, class, counseling or drug test) the case will be closed and he won’t have a record. He has to test clean to succeed and marijuana stays in your system up to thirty days. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • rick
      Sun, 03 Jun 2012 at 08:01

      I was arrested in MD 17 years ago when i was 16 for possession of marijuauna and shoplifting. My father picked me up at the police station. I don’t remember going to court i just remember talking to a lady who gave me a fine, a short drug class and community service. I asked my dad and he said there were no charges. I am getting a job in the financial industry and a U4 is required. I since i was never convicted i can say no correct? Here is the exact wording. I have had plenty of background checks and never had an issue.
      Have you ever:
      (a) been convicted of or pled guilty or nolo contendere (“no contest”) in a domestic, foreign, or military court to any felony?
      (b) been charged with any felony?
      Have you ever:
      (a) been convicted of or pled guilty or nolo contendere (“no contest”) in a domestic, foreign or military court to a misdemeanor involving: investments or an investment-related business or any fraud, false statements or omissions, wrongful taking of property, bribery, perjury, forgery, counterfeiting, extortion, or a conspiracy to commit any of these offenses?
      (b) been charged with a misdemeanor specified in 14B(1)(a)?
      Any help would be greatly appreciated
      Dear Rick: What you describe sounds like you completed a “diversion program.” The purpose of diversion is to keep someone from getting a record that affects them the rest of their life. If that’s what you did, you weren’t convicted of a crime and can answer accordingly. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Chris
      Mon, 11 Jun 2012 at 02:56

      Hello,
      I’m 21 years old and am trying to get a concealed carry permit in Ohio. In 2008, I was arrested for possession of marijuana and possession of a concealed weapon (brass knuckles) both were misdemeanors.
      Will this effect my ability to carry a firearm? I’m looking to have my records sealed, and hope that will aid in the process.
      Since then, I have not been in trouble at all.
      Dear Chris: As you know, every state has laws regarding the Second Amendment and the carrying of weapons. Take a look at this Ohio Attorney General website for information that applies to you on the subject. On the right side is a 2011 Manual with details. Good luck.
      http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/ConcealedCarry
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Jeff Park
      Sun, 17 Jun 2012 at 09:39

      i want to know if my immigration status affects my record? i heard about obama’s new plan for immigrants so we can get temporary legal status and work permits, and it says i cant have a criminal record. when i go to court to ask the judge if i can get my case expunged what do i ask him?
      Dear Jeff: Our understanding of the new immigration policy is that you cannot have a felony record or a substantial misdemeanor record. Therefore, if you have one minor incident on your recrod especially if it’s on your juvenile record, you would still be eligible for a work permit under the policy. Getting your record destroyed or expunged may be a separate issue from getting your work permit. You may want to talk with an immigration attorney about your record and the work permit eligibility before applying. Best of luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • armando maldonado
      Fri, 22 Jun 2012 at 12:50

      hi there i was caught in school for some gang activity this happend in middle school now im 18 but i whasent charge or arrested or given a fined or a court date they gust took a photo of me and let me go but im
      worried if that would go on my adult record or may it be on my juvenile record or that would prevent me from getting a immigration student permit that obama made for immigration students plese help me!
      Dear Armando: Since you didn’t go to court for this, get a ticket or be involved in a diversion program, there’s no official record that would appear in a background check. The only record that might exist is with the school or the police if they were called to the school. To be sure about this, you can contact the police department involved and ask about any record they have and how to have it destroyed. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • armando
      Fri, 22 Jun 2012 at 11:29

      hi there i whas suspected of some gang activity when i whas a minor in school police came to my school interview me and told me to have my picture taking without being underarrest and told me to write some type of report i whas not convicted or charged with anything or fined the question is y do they have the right to take my photo and if i refuesd they said ill be under arest is it for evidence or what right do i have now that im a adult
      Dear Armando: Since you were arrested or charged with any crime, there isn’t an official record of this incident that would affect your life. However, the police may have kept their own internal record for their own purposes. You can check with the police department to see if anything exists and, if so, ask about the process to have it destroyed. You don’t necessarily need a lawyer to do this. Oftentimes, it’s a simple form you complete and file with the law enforcement agency. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • mary jones
      Mon, 02 Jul 2012 at 04:49

      what happen if you were arrested for a criminal act but the charges was drop because how do you exponge this record
      Dear Mary: There would be no record of a conviction to expunge, however, whether the arrest stays on the person’s record depends on the laws in that state as well as the court’s rules and policies concerning arrest records. You could try contacting both the court where the charges were originally filed and the police department to find out how to begin the process to get an arrest expunged off your record. Since the charges were dismissed, there may not be an option to request the expungement of the arrest record. Again, this will depend on the laws of that state. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Andrea
      Sun, 08 Jul 2012 at 02:35

      Hello, I’ve been searching a solution to my problem, and the only answer that keeps popping up is HIRE A LAWYER… I caught a case when I was 16 years old for vandalism (M) which resulted incarcerartion for about a month or two in juvenile hall. When in attendance of my arraignment I was released to the home of a family member and ordered to 1yr probation [which got transferred to the county of my residence]. On the very last day of probation I caught a case for DV (F) in which resulted in me being detained for two months in juvenile hall, and a release to the custody of my mother in the county in which she resided and to report to the probation department yet again. HERES THE TRICKY PART: I could not be found in any of the systems for a transfer. I just recently recontacted the my initial probation dept, and was notified to contact the dept that my probation was mostlikely tranferred to. After doing so, I learned I was entered into the system only under my AKA , and not my feal name (okay, understandable). The thing that has me is only my info was transferred after the DV case. Eventually they labeled the probation as closed (not complete or incomplete). Both county doc. says the “other” county has my probation case… how can I possibly seal someting that never really ended or had an ending to it? It has been 8 1/2 yrs since and I cant get on with my life by dragging around my past. this is not only hurting me, but my family aswell… they look to me for support that I cannot give because nobody wants to hire “A BAD RECORD”.
      Dear Andrea: The advice you’ve already been given may be the only way to straighten this out. By contacting the courts and probation departments yourself with little success, you may need a lawyer to do this. It shouldn’t take too much attorney time, so the expense should be minimal. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Ashley Jenkins
      Fri, 13 Jul 2012 at 07:59

      Will my charges now being a minor affect me being a police officer even know my charges are dropped thanks
      Dear Ashley: The answer depends on the nature of the charges that are on your record. If a serious felony, your ability to pursue certain careers may be hampered. On the other hand, if a low felony or misdemeanor and you completed a diversion program, you won’t have a record that will affect your future. If you have a juvenile record, you can look into clearing (expunging) your record. Check with the court or a lawyer about doing this. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Luke
      Sat, 04 Aug 2012 at 06:37

      I got my juvenile record expunged when i was 15 i cant remember if i was charged with a felony but i do know it was expunged should i disclose thos information with my recruiter? i pulled my sled record and fbi record both came back with no arrest record this is in south carilina by the way.
      Dear Luke: If you had an attorney assist you with the expungement, contact him/her to find out what exactly you were charged with and whether it was a felony or misdemeanor. If the matter is not appearing in background checks, then it sounds like it was expunged and treated as though you have no record in your state. Therefore, you may not need to disclose the incident depending on your state’s laws. Click here for more information about juvenile records in your state. Best of luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Jesse
      Wed, 15 Aug 2012 at 08:35

      Hi judge, when i was 15 my friends had stole the middle school security golf cart and they came to my house to pick me up and i tagged along. We joy ride for a while before we got caught. Were booked finger printed and we all went to juvenile hall. Was on house arrest for a day and had a P.O. for a day. Never had a court date the school never pressed charges and was wondering if i have a criminal record or not? I am now 18 this all happen in California. Thank you so much!
      Dear Jesse: It is unlikely that you have a criminal record regarding this incident. Since you didn’t see a judge and weren’t formally charged with a crime, you probably participated whether you realized it or not, in a diversion-type program. Once your day of supervision by a probation officer and house arrest ended, the case was closed without anything further. To be sure about this, you can contact the juvenile court you went to and ask if anything exist under your name. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • hazelreyes
      Wed, 15 Aug 2012 at 11:39

      I was 15 when i got charged with a stealing misdemeanor in 1st offense, and all i did was pay a fine to the store and then juvenile divion made me take some classes. I was not arrested or put in jail for this. My case was Terminated 3 months later. Im 20 now and im trying to do paper work for the department of homeland security. They ask if i ever been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of a felony or misdemeanor in the U.S.? I went the Juvenile Center and they told me that my juvenile record doesnt exist because im in an adult now but i still dont know if I should answer yes or no to this question. PLease help!!! Urgent.
      Dear Hazel: You are probably safe in answering “no” to the question since you weren’t arrested or taken before a judge. It sounds like you completed a “diversion” program which, after successful completion, results in a dismissal of the case and no record. That’s why when you checked with the court, nothing showed up. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Shamika Bradley
      Sun, 09 Sep 2012 at 07:25

      I got into trouble when I was 17 got sentenced to a program for pregnant teens. I did 5 months completed the program.When I came home myy probation officer told me that my record would be sealed. Since the year 2000 I have been terminated 3 times from the jobs I have had. I have been turned down for employment,I cant further my education becoming a registered nurse. The Juvenile Center still have my records I mean I try to get help on how to go about doing this and they tell me thatthey cant help me. When I look in my record I dont see anything saying that i was released from the program,when I went to the program and it,s been 12 years and some months. Can you PLEASE tell me how to go about doing anything in relevence to my situation that will help me in the situation I’m in,so that I can provide for my family PLEASE……….
      Dear Shamika: Your juvenile record being sealed does not mean that it’s necessarily erased. In order to get your juvenile record destroyed or expunged, you need to make a request by filing a document with the court. If you can, it may be beneficial to go to the court in person and talk to a clerk about your circumstances. They should be able to tell you what you need to do to start the process in order to request the destruction of your record. If you can’t go in person, you can call the court. For more information about the process in your state, check out this site. Best of luck to you and your family.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Chris
      Mon, 24 Sep 2012 at 10:58

      Hi I am from northeast Kansas, I have been arrested for running around naked at my high school when I was 17 years old. I have a disability. I went to intake and my mom picked me up. The charges were dropped. I never spend a night in jail. I was never in trouble as an adult I am now 29 years old, living a happy blessed life. Where there be any issuses gettting a passport. I want to travel around the world with my family. Can my juvenile record be destroyed.
      Dear Chris: If you have a record with the juvenile court, yes, you can apply to have it expunged (destroyed). Contact the court and ask about the process. You can also check the court’s website and apply online. You don’t necessarily need a lawyer to do this. It’s generally a simple one-page form you can print out and send to the court. It is possible you don’t have a record if you weren’t charged with a crime, saw a judge or plead guilty to anything. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Tom
      Thu, 27 Sep 2012 at 09:19

      If you are arrested, petitioned as juvenile delinquent, and gone through the adjudication process (in California) then later as an adult asked the question (for government employment)of if you were ever “charged” with a crime would the answer be yes or no?
      Dear Tom: AsktheJudge doesn’t provide legal advice to adults or teenagers since we don’t have an attorney-client relationship with our readers. We only provide information about the laws that affect teens. That said, we suggest you speak with a lawyer about this. The language in employment and all other applications is important since the language used in the juvenile justice system differs from the adult criminal process. You may not have been “charged with a crime” in juvenile court but rather a “delinquent offense.” Consequently, you can answer accordingly. We always recommend answering questions truthfully after reading each question closely. All the best.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • JOHN BRAY
      Sat, 29 Sep 2012 at 09:52

      i have a class b misdomeaner for less than 2 oz’s of pot back in 2008 and got defered adjudication completed and paid everything and was wondering if it will effect my getting my chl? THANK YOU MARK BRAY
      Dear John: If you successfully completed a diversion program, there shouldn’t be a record that will affect your future. The purpose of deferred adjudication or diversion is to keep you from having a record that follows you around in your adult life. To be sure, check with the court you were in and if a record does exist, ask the court about clearing it. It’s a simple process and doesn’t require a lawyer. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Alex miller
      Thu, 04 Oct 2012 at 12:43

      Okay so i am 15 i stole a water bottle from school and got caught what ill happen
      Dear Alex: If this is your first time in trouble at school, it’s possible that little will happen. The principal may speak with you about what you did. If you’re sincere and apologize, that may be the end of it. He or she could also give you a consequence like a Saturday detention or some community service. Either way, make this the last incident like this because penalties increase as you violate additional rules. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • kimberly
      Fri, 26 Oct 2012 at 07:44

      I have a great 16 year old son who claims he can no longer join the rotc air force, because he is about to go to court nov 6,2012 for a curfew ticket that I asked to be written.(mom) he had some rough times w/ 4 calls out to our home due to behavior, but all w/ no consequences. I had to put a stop to the non e.m.# to keep coming out. Is it true he can’t join the rotc before age 18 with only this on his record? He has a great accedemic potential. 28 on act, is taking all honors as a junior w/ two university credits. Really bright future. He wants to fly jets. Please advise a.s.a.p.?
      Dear Kimberly: The acceptance requirements of the ROTC are up to them. Check with the school about these requirements and what keeps a student from joining. You might also want to schedule a meeting with the head of the program to discuss your son’s future. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Dayun
      Sun, 03 Feb 2013 at 08:10

      Hello Judge. I am 14 and i did something that i regret deeply. I stole playing cards from a local Kmart and got caught for it of course. I was wondering how bad will this look on a college application and if in Illinois can i get my record – if it got me record – removed when 18. Thank you
      Dear Dayun: It’s possible that you may be lucky and get off with either a warning or a civil demand letter requesting payment of a fine. If you pay this fine, that should end the matter. If you receive a notice in the mail to appear in court, then it’s likely that you would be offered a diversion program for this and given the chance of avoiding a record as long as you complete the program. If you don’t have to go to court, you don’t have to worry about having a record. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Michelle R.
      Tue, 05 Feb 2013 at 11:50

      Hello!
      I am a 37 year old married Mom of an 11 year old daughter. I entered the Occupational therapy program at our local college. They do a background check routinelly when you enter this program. When I was 14 (Back in 1989) I was convicted of indecent liberties (I was babysitting for the first timeand we played doctor and since I was the oldest of the kids I got charged-it was wrong of me I know) I spent 90 days at Echo Glen Childrens center. I have never had any trouble in my adult life. When they do a background check will it show up? I have never thought of this possibility before.
      Thank you.
      Michelle
      Dear Michelle: It depends on a number of things whether this incident will affect your future. First, if you were actually prosecuted and a criminal record exists, then it could appear in a background check. The laws of the state where this happened may have erased this from your record at a certain point. We suggest you contact the court you were in and ask if a record exists. If one does, ask about applying to have the record expunged. You don’t necessarily need a lawyer to do this – that’s your decision. You can also contact the lawyer or public defender who represented you at the time and ask about this. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Holly
      Wed, 06 Mar 2013 at 02:42

      As a minor age 16, I was charged with Domestic violence against my step mother for a threat that was made. This misdemeanor has showed up on every background check I’ve had since then. I recently had my records sealed and then it was expunged. I applied to nursing school and had to have my background pulled after being accepted into the school. I received a call today saying that I needed to come in to fill out a release form because they got a hit on my background.. What is this form for? If my records are expunged then why does it show up still? Do I have to tell them what happened?

      I’m 26 years old now, I hate that this has followed me like a black cloud!!

      Thanks in Advance
      Dear Holly: You might want to contact the court you were in when this happened and verify that your record has been expunged. In some states, when the court expunges their records, that doesn’t mean police department records have been. Check with the police about any record of the incident. If they have a record still, ask about their expungement process. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Josh
      Fri, 29 Mar 2013 at 08:57

      Hello,

      Juvenile record consist of 2 felonies and 2 misdemeanors. I was brought up on charges of sexual assault and statitory rape when I was 16, but this was only because we were a few years apart from each other, just fondling happened although it was consensual it was because of age. Anyways I am 25 now, I have completed all treatment, probation, paid restitution, and want to continue On with my life. I have never been in trouble with the law since, that was the only time ever! I want to know if I can have this expunged from my record in Pennsylvania, I just want to join the military and was denied because of my record. What can I do?
      Dear Josh: You may be able to get your record expunged and therefore, join the military depending on how your case was resolved. Take a look at this site that explains the expungement process in Pennsylvania – scroll down to the section “Sealing and Expunging Delinquency Files or Records.” Please note that certain offenses have been excluded from expungement eligibility including Rape, section 3121, so you need to know exactly what offenses you were adjudicated delinquent for (which ones are on your record including the specific statute) in order to make sure you can request to have your record expunged. We wish you all the best.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • rybkin
      Fri, 05 Apr 2013 at 11:29

      Me and 3 other friends of mine were arrested 2 days ago for stopped by the police for skateboarding in the business district. One of the friends strated arguing with the police so they took us to the police station and arrested us. The 3 guys were asked to go to court, however the police officer said that ‘I dodged the bullet because I was quet and respectful to the plice officers the whole entire time’, so I was free to go. My question is do I still have a juvenile record now and if yes can I make an appeal?
      Dear Rybkin: Since you were not cited and didn’t have to go to court, you do not have a record. At the same time, if the police actually “arrested” you, it’s possible that you have a record of the arrest which should only be accessible by the police and the courts, however it would ultimately say that no charges were filed. For future employment or education opportunities, you should not have a record. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Sam
      Mon, 08 Apr 2013 at 04:35

      I was 17 when I was arrested for possession of marijuana. I completed a diversion program with SASCA in maryland. Will my record be sealed or destroyed upon turning 18? I plan on joining the military after 4 years of college. I don’t want them to see my record.
      Dear Sam: Diversion programs often result in you not having any record as the purpose of it is to give the offender a second chance and the possibility of avoiding a record. You could try contacting the court or the probation department who was responsible for overseeing your diversion program and ask about this. Ask for a copy of your record so you can confirm that there is nothing on it. Best of luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Aziz
      Sun, 12 May 2013 at 07:22

      On may the 11th me and my friends (4) stole candy from Kings Island in Ohio from 2 different stores, and we got busted, I stole 2 pieces while they stole 3-6 pieces, all together the officer said we are going to charge all of you with theft because the shear amount is too much, we are all 14 years old. I never got in trouble by law before. So what kind of thing are we looking at judge? Court or just a fine? community service? probation? please help
      Dear Aziz: Since this is your first offense, there is a good chance that you will be offered a diversion program. This means that upon completion of some community service hours, payment of a fine and possibly attending a class, the charges would be dropped and the case closed. Therefore, you would not have a record. You will find out more when you go to your first court date including what your options are. Remember, the consequences will increase for additional offenses so we hope you learned from this. Good luck to you and your friends.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Matt
      Fri, 17 May 2013 at 07:35

      Hi I was charged with possession of Marijuana in the state of California when I was 17 and court ordered to take a 90 day drug/alcohol program. I am now 18 and was wondering if I could just pay a fine to get out of it and not get my license suspended, it is effecting me from getting a job because I have to attend the class 3 days a week.
      Dear Matt: It may be possible to change the penalty but it’s up to both the court and probation department. You should talk with whoever supervises your drug/alcohol classes to see if you have any options here. If not, finish the classes especially if they’re part of a diversion program. That way you won’t end up with a record that will appear in the future in any background checks. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • brian
      Thu, 30 May 2013 at 09:09

      I am planning to become a CPA in the future and I was wondering if I will be required to disclose a sealed juvenile record to the licensing board. I was committed of vandalism and burglary when I was a juvenile. However, both cases are now sealed. I’ve heard that I am not required to disclose any matters that did not result in a conviction such as juvenile matters. Is this correct? On the CPA criminal conviction form it says “Have you ever been convicted of any criminal offense other than a minor traffic violation? ” Can I legally answer no since juvenile matters are adjudications? I’ve heard that it’s required to disclose all criminal matters including juvenile records. So would I have to disclose my juvenile record for state licensing?
      Dear Brian: Your best bet is to contact the licensing board or check out their website for information about what is required to be disclosed, etc. You are correct that if you are asked about prior “convictions”, you can truthfully answer “no” since you were “adjudicated”. It’s extremely important to read the questions carefully so that you can answer truthfully. Best of luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Andy
      Wed, 05 Jun 2013 at 09:41

      I was charged with vandalism 594 PC and burglary 459 pc when I was a juvenile. I’m currently in the process of having my record sealed. However, I recently went to get a copy of my juvenile record from the court and it showed a grand theft 487(a) PC charge. But on the live scan report, it only showed the vandalism and burglary charge. The clerk only gave me papers for the 594 and 487 chrarge. On the 487(a) document from the court, it says that the 487(a) charge was being reduced to 487(c) misdemeanor. I believe that the 487(a) or 487(c) charge was an offense referred to in the burglary statute under burglary 459 PC. On the documents that the court gave me, it says case(s) dismissed. The arrest record that I obtained from the juvenile court shows a 459, 487(a), and 594 PC charge while the live scan only showed the burglary 459 PC and vandalism 594 PC charge. I’ve completed all the terms to my probation and nothing has came up since then. It has been about 2 1/2 years since the last incident. Now, I’m in the process of having an attorney seal my record. Can someeone explain why the arrest record that I obtained from the juvenile court shows a 459, 487(a), and 594 PC charge while the live scan only showed the burglary 459 and vandalism 594 PC charge? Also, when i went to the a copy of my juvenile record, I was only given documents for the 594 and 487(a) charges, none about the 459 PC except for the arrest record. All I know is that the burglary and theft charge was in relationship with each other. It happened together. If anyone can explain to my why the copy of the court juvenile record shows 459 PC, 487(a) PC, and 594 PC whereas the live scan only shows the 459 PC and 594 PC charges, that would be great. Thank you.
      Dear Andy: Since you have an attorney helping you with the sealing of your records, you should speak to him about this matter. It could be a glitch in the system or perhaps your arrest record reflects one thing, but the court records reflect another since you were only charged with two offenses rather than the three you were initially arrested for. Again, speak with your attorney about this as you want him to get your entire record sealed and not just part of it. He’s in a position to get answers and help straighten this out. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Bob
      Thu, 13 Jun 2013 at 07:20

      My son was charged with possession of alcohol but was never breathalyzed or told to walk the straight line there was no car involved and there was no alcohol that the police saw but 2 of his friends that he was with said they had been drinking they never asked him if he was this is 30 mins later he was charged this is his first time ever being in trouble will colleges see this and will this harm him later in life. Does he have a record now This happened about four months before he turned 18 his court date is in August. What should we do
      Dear Bob: Again, diversion will probably be offered to him. If he successfully completes the program (community service, payment of a fine and possibly attending a class or counseling), the charges would be dropped and he would not have any record of a conviction. Therefore, it should not affect his educational opportunities in the future. When you go to court, someone will explain your son’s options and the court process. You can ask and confirm that diversion will not result in him having a record as these types of programs are dealt with differently in each court. Good luck to your son.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • jacob
      Sun, 16 Jun 2013 at 04:30

      i got a speeding ticket for 25 over and im only 17. will i have to go to court even though the cop did not check the box that said personal appearance required?
      Dear Jacob: Read the ticket carefully to see how to handle it. You may be able to pay the fine by mail or if you plan to plead not guilty you check the appropriate box and mail it in. Then you’ll be notified of a court date that requires you to appear. Discuss this with your parents. They’ll likely find out anyway so it’s better coming from you. Good luck and slow down.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • jonathan
      Tue, 18 Jun 2013 at 07:02

      im 16 years old and i have probation for a month i was charge by reckless something but i whant to join the marines in the future can my record can be destroy? would i be able to join the marines?
      Dear Jonathan: Each branch of the service has its own rules regarding juvenile records. So you need to talk with your recruiter about this. You can also check with the court you’re involved with to see how to go about clearing (expunging) your record or ask your probation officer. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Mariah
      Wed, 19 Jun 2013 at 04:50

      Hello, I just turned 17 two days ago, and I got a class b misdamenor for theft (I live in texas) this was a horrible mistake and I will never do it again. My question is that when I turn 18 will potentially graduate schools/jobs be able to see this on my record? Is there anyway to get it completely removed? when I fill out job applications and such do I have to mark that I have been convicted/ will it show up on a background check
      Dear Mariah: Everything depends on how this theft charge is handled. If you have to go to court for it, you may be eligible for a “diversion” program if this is your first offense. That means when you complete some community service, attend a class or counseling the case will be dismissed and you won’t have a record. That’s the purpose of diversion. If diversion isn’t available and you admit it or are found guilty by the court, you’ll be sentenced with probation, work hours, etc. Once you complete the probation terms and are released from the jurisdiction of the court, you can apply to clear (expunge) your record. When you go to court, ask about this if you don’t go through diversion. As a minor, this shouldn’t appear in a background check but each state is different. Ask when you’re in court. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Brianna Devitt
      Sat, 22 Jun 2013 at 12:08

      Hi, I am 16 years old and I live in Illinois. I received two tickets two nights ago for being out past curfew and driving without a license. I only have my learner’s permit and had two friends in the car. My record is completely clean besides what I just received. I have waited my full 9 months to receive my license when I got the ticket and planned to get my license the week after. I regret what I did very much. I was wondering if you have any idea what the judge will sentence me and if this will prohibit me once I go to college and or apply for a job.
      Dear Brianna: First, as far as your future education and employment, this should have no affect on either. Since this is your first offense, you’ll probably be offered a “diversion program” when you go to court. That means when you finish some community service, attend a class or counseling the case will be dismissed and you won’t have a record. Under the specific laws in your state you may also have to wait longer to get your license. Everything will be explained to you at court. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Dennis
      Sun, 23 Jun 2013 at 07:00

      Hi I have two charges on my juvenile record breaking and entering and grand larceny they happened when I was 16. I have always been able to vote and I just got a jury duty request the other day so it seems my civil right are there and have always been. I just recently turned 29 and I want to purchase a hand gun. I’m from Virginia and the juvenile court tells me that the felonies are still there and will be for the rest of my life. I did not have a weapon so it was not a violent crime judge gave me 15 days in a home for kids and 1 year community service plus 1 year probation. So my question is can I purchase a gun now in the state of Virginia ? What do I put on the application yes or no for felonies ?
      Dear Dennis: We don’t provide legal advice to adults or teens. AsktheJudge.info is an educational site for & about teens and the laws that affect the.
      We suggest you contact the juvenile court you were in and ask about clearing (expunging) your record. The court may have a website where you can apply online for expungement. You can also speak with a criminal defense lawyer or lawyer who practices juvenile law. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Dina M
      Mon, 24 Jun 2013 at 02:51

      If I got arrested for DUI while I’m a minor, but my birthday is in two weeks (I turn 18). Can the judge charge me as an adult? My court date is after my birthday. I live in California.
      Dear Dina: Every state has its own laws regarding alcohol-related traffic stops. Since you’re under 21 (the legal drinking age in California and all states) you’ll be treated the same as if you were still under 18. You can either talk with a lawyer before you go to court if your parents want to contact someone, or you can wait until your hearing and talk with a public defender at that time. In the meantime Google “California DUI laws” and take a look at Findlaw.com’s page for information. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Angel Hilton
      Tue, 02 Jul 2013 at 12:03

      Hello, I am a 19 year old male who lives in Southern California. My question is can I go to jail for possession of Alcohol since I am a minor. Now I know that the worse they can do is remove your license for about a year and give you a fat ticket, But I had a juvenile record of getting caught with ecstasy when I was 16, I was going through harsh times through the loss of my father and I completed a 1 year probation that turned my crime into a misdemeanor. And I also know that once you turn 18 your juvenile record is sealed. But should I be worried? (For further info I wasn’t drinking, completely sober, and this happened at Huntington Beach.)
      Dear Angel: We’re sorry to hear about the loss of your father.
      It is unlikely that you’d be given any jail time for alcohol possession. Like you said, you may be stuck with a heavy fine or community service. You might also look into clearing (expunging) your juvenile record. It’s a simple process if you’re eligible to apply. Check with the court you were in – you might be able to apply online. You don’t need a lawyer to do this. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Katie
      Sun, 07 Jul 2013 at 04:11

      Hello,

      When I was 17 years old I was caught shoplifting $27 worth of clothes from a store. I was taken to the back of the store where an employee took my information and copied my ID. the police were called, however, they allowed my parents to come pick me up from the store. I later received a civil fine from the store in which I paid. Later I was called down to my city’s processing location and had to be fingerprinted and had photographs taken. I received a letter stating an appearance in court. I went to court and was granted a dismissal of my case and no charges would be placed against me if I attended a shoplifting class and paid a fine. Which i did for both. This was my first offense and have not committed one since. When I was being fingerprinted the police officer taking my fingerprints said my record would not be wiped clean when i turned 18 (expunging) but instead only certain officials would be able to see my record if I committed another offense (sealing). However, at the shoplifting class the instructor said only my criminal record would be clean because my charges were dropped but I would still have my arrest record and would need to get that expunged. I know my case was dismissed due to me taking the class but do I still have an arrest record? And if I do have an arrest record does it become sealed when I turn 18? I know it is different for every state and I tried to do research and heard many different things for my state. I am currently 19 years old and know that even an arrest record could mean Not getting employed somewhere. I live in the state of PA. i have heard many different things and would really appreciate it if you can help me. Thank you.
      Dear Katie: There are laws about getting your juvenile record cleared from the system in Pennsylvania. Take a look at this statute by Googling “18 Pa. C.S. 9123.” You can file a petition with the court you were in and a hearing may be set. You can also contact both the court you were in and the police department involved with the incident and ask what record exists. Since you completed a diversion program, there may be no record to expunge or destroy. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Rodney
      Mon, 08 Jul 2013 at 03:23

      Can you explain to me how wisconsin had the right to sentence me for a sexual crime as a juvenile, on my juvenile record, but required me to register as a sex offender for 15 yrs??? I am 30 yrs old now, and facing new felony charges for not complying with the registry. I also have been charged in the past for being “non compliant”. Is there a way to reopen my juvenile case, or expunge or modify the sentencing? since being a juvenile i have never commited any other sexual crime, although i do have a lengthy adult record for other alcohol/drug realted things. I dont think i was guilty when i was a juvenile anyhow, but as a child you are scared and dont know what to do or say. Tell me I can beat this new accusation by expunging/reopening/modifying my juvenile court decision!!!
      Dear Rodney: You need to look to your state’s laws concerning juvenile records and sex offender registration. You could try contacting the attorney or attorney’s office who assisted with your case approximately 15 years ago for more information. All states have a process for expunging or destroying a juvenile record. Depending on the state’s laws and the facts of the case, you may have to wait until a certain time before making a request for expungement. For example, in your case, since you were required to register for 15 years, then you most likely cannot request expungement until after you complete all the terms of your sentence. Check out this link for more information about the treatment of juvenile records in Wisconsin as well as the process of expunging juvenile records. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Dana
      Thu, 11 Jul 2013 at 09:00

      I am trying to join the military and have a some what lengthy juvenile record. I am 22 years old now, and since I’ve turned 18 my record has been sealed. This record includes 4 violations of probation and one felony, (burglary). I’m sure the military can access these records regardless, but i wonder if these charges can truly be used against me. The military has become very selective within the last few years. I’m curious if I even stand a chance.
      Dear Dana: Every branch of the military has its own rules and policies concerning the treatment of juvenile records. Your best bet would to speak with a recruiter and find out if your record is going to prevent you from enlisting or if you need to go through a formal process to actually have your record expunged or destroyed. We wish you the best of luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Tiffany
      Thu, 11 Jul 2013 at 02:04

      Question, I got finger prints done for a job, but I haven’t done anything bad. My question is if I was sent to a juvenile center for two hours to wait on my dad to pick me up because me and my mama had an argument, would that be on my criminal background. I only sat in the lobby waiting on my dad to come, but they didn’t book me. Need answer fast!
      Dear Tiffany: It doesn’t sound like the incident you described would have resulted in any record. If you weren’t arrested and never had to go to court, then you shouldn’t have a record. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Jonathan
      Fri, 12 Jul 2013 at 09:41

      Hello, I just have one question

      I’m 17 years old and trying to go into military, can I access my juvenile records because I only have one charge when i was 12 for vandalism but it got closed. Can I request the records at 18.
      Dear Jonathan: Yes, you should be able to request a copy of your record and obtain it so you can see if anything is on it. Contact the court, explain the circumstances and ask how you can get a copy of your record. You may have to pay a small fee. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • John O
      Fri, 12 Jul 2013 at 12:06

      I have recently talked to my navy recruiter about enlisting and i have told him that i have a felony under burglary when i was 15 years of age but my records are sealed. He wanted to know the penal codes and the charges i recieved for the criminal background waiver but when i went to get the records the clerk has told me that it was sealed. So my question is do i really need to tell my recruiter that i have no record? Because i dont want to get disqualified if they find out that i have a record when they do the fbi background check even tho my records are sealed
      Dear John: You’re best bet is to continue being honest since you already disclosed that you had some trouble when you were younger. Every state handles the treatment of juvenile records differently. There’s a good chance that the background check will either fully reveal what your record is or possibly that you were charged as a juvenile and the record is now sealed. Since your recruiter asked for information about the charge, you may need to provide it to him; however, if your state considers a sealed record as one that no longer exists, then you may need to explain that you don’t have any priors. Click here for more information about the treatment of juvenile records in your state. Be sure to be honest as you don’t want to be misleading. You may be able to truthfully answer “no” to having any prior felony or misdemeanor on your record. We wish you the best of luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Bianca
      Sat, 13 Jul 2013 at 11:30

      My boyfriend and I are both 17 and we have records. We plan to work in the medical field after graduating high this fall together but we don’t know if it is ok to have a past record even as a juvenile and work in the medical field. He wants to be an EMT and I want to be an LVN and work my way up to be a physical therapist. We both live in Northern California. Can you help us please?
      Dear Bianca: Since you both have juvenile records and not permanent adult records, it most likely will not prevent you from working in the medical field. Ultimately, you may want to consult with someone who already works in that profession to find out what the background check consists of. Also, depending on your juvenile records (felony, misdemeanor, etc.) and how juvenile records are treated in your state (they may be automatically sealed once you’re 18), you may want to consider having your records expunged. Click here for more information about the treatment of juvenile records in your state. Best of luck with your future endeavors.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • giah
      Wed, 17 Jul 2013 at 11:38

      my friend has to fill out a paper of whats shes done which was robbing clothes, it asks what her school activity are like sports why do they need to know that? shes wondering because she playing varsity soccer and her coach has said if any player has done something bad like not setting a good roll model shell be kicked out. will they tell her coach? are they going to tell her school? And she plays for her high school.
      Dear Giah: That’s a good question. Usually such questionnaires don’t go into your personal life. The police are too busy to report crimes to schools unless, of course, the school is somehow involved with the incident. Your friend can ask the police or whoever is requiring the completion of this form about this. She can also ask her parents to look into this. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Jerry
      Thu, 18 Jul 2013 at 11:37

      Can you tell me the difference between a state police background check and a fbi background.
      Dear Jerry: One is federal and the other is state. A state check may only turn up a criminal history of local (city, county and state charges) while a federal check would show those as well as federal charges.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Sean
      Thu, 25 Jul 2013 at 01:17

      I am 14 and was recently arrested for going into someone’s garage and stealing stuff the officer said it is a felony and 20 year sentence if I were an adult but am not sure what the charges will be exactly but can I get my record destroyed.
      Dear Sean: Diversion is typically offered to first-time shoplifting offenders or for other minor (misdemeanor) offenses. If you’re facing felony charges, diversion probably will not be an option. You will find out more when you go to court including the charges filed against you, the possible penalties and the court process. All states have a process for destroying or expunging a juvenile record. It may require you to successfully complete the terms of your sentence (probation, etc.) and wait a few years until you’re an adult before requesting to have your juvenile record destroyed. Also, you will want to be sure to stay out of trouble so there won’t be any other issues when you ask for your record to be expunged. You can find out more about the process in your state here. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Carlos
      Tue, 30 Jul 2013 at 07:29

      Hello,
      I’m currently facing a issue in my life when i was 14 i stole a car and got charge, I guess that was a felony charge. I’m currently trying to get my record sealed but i don’t know if that’s going to help, Is it?
      Dear Carlos: Asking the court to destroy or expunge your record is usually a good idea and can help with educational and employment opportunities in the future. The process varies from state and state and you may have to wait until you’re 18 or older to make such a request. Click here for more information about the process in your state or try contacting the juvenile court where charges were filed and ask how you can request to have your record destroyed. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Ryan
      Thu, 01 Aug 2013 at 05:07

      I have a very important question for you your honor. When i was 12 i was convicted of child molestation in the first degree in Washington state. I am now turning 18 in a few days and i want to know what i can do beyond getting relieved of my duty to register? As in can my record be expunged and if not whats the best i can get? I have been through years of counseling etc. and i have been living normally for the last couple years. But now that i am becoming an adult i have to seriously consider it and i don’t know what to do. So please help me sir. Sincerely Ryan.
      Dear Ryan: Since every state has their own laws regarding juvenile offenses and expungement of records, we suggest you contact the court you were in or talk with a juvenile defense attorney. If the public defender’s office represented you at the time, give them a call and ask about clearing your record. You may also get some information on the court’s website. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • charles
      Thu, 01 Aug 2013 at 05:30

      At age 15 I committed a sexual offense and went to court and the case was adjudicated, I completed all my punishments and did not have to register. Now 12 years later I get holds on background checks because of this. Will this always be a problem? Minnesota.
      Dear Charles: It depends on the charges against you at the time and what’s on your record today. We suggest you talk with a criminal defense attorney about applying to the court to clear (expunge) your record. You could also contact the court you were in and/or the lawyer who represented you at the time for advice. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Jean
      Mon, 05 Aug 2013 at 06:26

      I had probation and curfew order when I was 17 and I’m still going through with curfew and I’m 18 now, is there any chance I could become a cop and did my criminal records get deleted or are they still in file since I’m doing probation now?
      Dear Jean: A curfew violation should not affect your chances of becoming a police officer in the future. As far as your juvenile record being “sealed” or destroyed, it’s going to depend on the laws of your province. Since you’re currently on probation, ask your P.O. about this and whether there is anything you need to do or file to request to have your record destroyed or expunged once you complete probation. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Corey Harrison
      Thu, 08 Aug 2013 at 07:35

      I was arrested as a juvenile in 2006 for assault and robbery by association. I recently applied for a job with a local law enforcement agency. They told me that I couldn’t proceed until I sent them the documentation of the incident. I went around and found that I am unable to see that information at all. Was what they were telling me the truth? I was told by the court that no one could obtain it since it was sealed, but if I can’t get them shouldn’t there not be a problem for another department to get them
      Dear Corey: You may want to discuss this with a local lawyer (criminal defense) to see wht you can do to see your record. You may be eligible to apply for an expungement to clear it altogether. You may not need a lawyer for this if the court you were in has a form to apply for it. See if the court has a website where you can read about this. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Jeezy
      Mon, 12 Aug 2013 at 07:20

      Dear Tom. As a 15 year old juvenile I pleaded guilty to a 5 th degree felony drug possesion. I am now 18 and
      I would like to know if I can get an emt certification
      Dear Jeezy: Every state has laws about EMT certification requirements. If you Google the name of your state and “EMT requirements” you’ll get some information. You can also check with the court you were in and see if you’re eligible to have your record cleared (expunged). Check the court’s website for information. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Arseniy
      Tue, 13 Aug 2013 at 06:55

      Hi, i was wondering if it’s possible to have your juvenile record completely erased, so that if you go into military even they can’t see it. I am trying to enlist into military branch and they say that felony even as a juvenile is a no no, my felony was theft from a store, for which i was not detained or fined and only had 30 community hours to serve with probation. It was when i was 17 and now i am 23. Plz help i feel like i can do great in military and i want that kind of discipline.
      Dear Arseniy: First, it sounds like you do not have a felony on your record. Most theft/shoplifting incidents in juvenile court are considered misdemeanors and not felonies. Contact the court and ask for a copy of your record so you know for sure what is on it and how the previous offense was classified. Each branch of the military has its own rules about juvenile records. If it turns out to be a felony, then you could ask your recruiter if an expunged juvenile record would still be considered a reason to deny enlistment. You could look into getting your juvenile record destroyed or expunged, which could make a difference as far as enlisting even if it means another branch of the military. Best of luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • jose
      Wed, 21 Aug 2013 at 12:14

      hello, my name is Jose and at the age of 16 i was kicked out of school for possession of an illegal substance (marijuana) i will be 18 in 6months and i would like to know if my record can be erased? after i was kicked out of school. i was put in a second chance school i guess. there i learned that i did not want that life, so i changed my way of thinking about the future. and since i will be 18 soon i would like to get a job and join a decent community collage and follow my dream. but will this record follow me?
      Dear Jose: If you didn’t go to court for this possession incident, you don’t have a record to worry about. Only if the police were involved and you ended up in juvenile court. Your school record alone won’t affect your future plans for employment or further education. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Frank
      Thu, 22 Aug 2013 at 07:10

      Hello, my name is frank and at age 15 i was charged with attempted burglary. (Something i had nothing to do with). When the case went to court me and my attorney fought the case so the team against me didn’t find no evidence so the judge dismissed the charge. But on 8/19/13 i went to my local police department to sign up for the police ride along program and the next day i recieved an email from them saying they denied me because of the attempted burglary charge even tho it got dismissed. So the question is how can i clear or expunge my only charge i got in my juvenile record?!? Btw im 19 now!
      Dear Frank: There are a few things you can do to clear your record. Ask the police department about applying for an expungement (destruction) of your record. You can also contact the court you were in and apply for expungement. If the court has a website you can apply online. You don’t need a lawyer to do this. It’s a simple procedure that you can handle yourself. If you run into obstacles doing this, you could contact the lawyer you had at the time and ask for assistance. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Shanos
      Mon, 26 Aug 2013 at 03:05

      When I was in sixth grade I was given a ticket for writing on a picnic table that ended up being $100. I am now 15 and just last night I recieved another ticket for “sneaking into” a drive-in movie theatre in Wisconsin that totaled to be $305. I’m not the kind of person that gets into any trouble like that but it just happened. A mandatory court appearance is scheduled for Sep. 25th and I am wondering if I can appear in court without my parent but my older sibling of the age of 22? Also, will these incidents be held against me on my record?
      Dear Shanos: Most courts require that a parent or legal guardian appear in court with their son or daughter. Otherwise, the hearing may be continued to another date. It’s possible that with a letter of consent from your parents your adult sibling can appear for them. But don’t count on it. Every court has its own policy about appearances with juveniles in court. Call the court you have to go to and ask about this. Regarding your record, if you complete a diversion program you won’t have a record to worry about. That’s one of the purposes of diversion. Once you complete community service, attend a class or counseling the case is closed and there’s no official record to follow you around into your adult life. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • california leads
      Tue, 17 Sep 2013 at 05:56

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    • Kat
      Sat, 28 Sep 2013 at 07:00

      So if I run away while on probation when I’m 17 will my juvinile record be dismissed when I’m 18?
      Dear Kat: It depends on the laws in your state. In some states, juvenile records are sealed once the minor turns 18, but that does not necessarily mean that it’s forever erased. You can contact your probation officer or the court and find out if you have a record after you turn 18. Also, the court may have jurisdiction over you even after you turn 18 depending on the laws in your state. Rather than risk getting into more trouble if you run away and are picked up by the police or found to be in violation by your probation officer, we strongly encourage you to talk to your parents or guardian about moving out. If they agree to let you live with another relative or adult, then there may not be any problem so long as your probation officer is in agreement with the move as well. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Allie
      Tue, 22 Oct 2013 at 12:48

      Hi,

      I’m seventeen and was arrested for shoplifting. It’s the first time i’ve ever tried stealing from a store, and I’d never done anything illegal before.

      I have a court date and I’m really nervous and everyday I feel sick to my stomach thinking about the stupid choice I made. Today I had to leave a couple classes just to go to the bathroom and cry because I couldn’t handle it.

      Being caught and arrested was the scariest thing that I’ve ever gone through, and I know I’ll never make a bad choice like that again.

      Please, do you have any advice for me? I’m really scared to go to court and I don’t know what could happen or what they’ll do to me. Can you give me any advice on what to do now? And can I get my record cleared when I turn eighteen? And will this ruin my chances for college?

      Thank you
      Dear Allie: First, take a deep breath and relax. Since this is your first offense you stand a good chance of being offered a “diversion program.” That means when you complete some community service, attend a class or counseling, the case is dismissed and you won’t have a record. That’s the purpose of diversion – to keep first-time offenders from getting a record that follows them around later in life. When you go to court, everything will be explained to you by a court or probation officer. So, this shouldn’t have any affect on your future education or employment pursuits. If you were banned from the store, don’t return or you could be charged with trespass. Good luck.

    • Giah
      Mon, 28 Oct 2013 at 06:07

      ok well i went to theft class earlier this month for shoplifting with my friend in like august ugh such a horrible thing i did:( Anyways they also talked to my mom and gave her information and they told her that she was now involved in it as soon as the cop asked for her ID info the day she went to go get me when i did what i did. And i remember the cop was talking to us and said that my mom wasn’t going to get involved at all with it and that everything was all on me. So is it true that my mom is involved because the cop took all her ID information??? because that’s the last thing i wanted and i think is was wrong for the cop to lie like that cause they even made me sign something that said that everything was my responsibility.
      Dear Giah: It does not sound like your Mom is being held responsible for your actions. The officer may have wanted to see her identification to confirm that you provided accurate contact information. If you completed a theft class and did not have to do anything else or did not have to go to court, it sounds like you may have completed a diversion program. Make sure you complete everything that is expected of you and your Mom should not have anything to worry about. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Angela Anderson
      Sat, 09 Nov 2013 at 01:08

      I have a very long face sheet starting at the age of twelve, all the way to sixteen. When I was thirteen and fourteen I received three felony charges; two third degrees and one second degree. The second degree felony was dropped down to a misdemeanor battery.

      Now I am eighteen though, and have since been to military school and changed my life around. I am finishing my AA degree next semester and will be transferring to a University next summer term. I am pursuing a career with foster children and orphans, as I grew up in the DCF system. I was wondering if my juvenile record will hold me back from one day opening up group homes, so that I can make the decision on whether or not I am going after the right degrees.
      All of this has happened in the state of Florida, where I am still located.
      Thank you for any advice!
      Dear Angela: First, congratulations on turning your life around. Your plans for the future are admirable and will benefit others. As far as any obstacles due to your juvenile record, it depends on the applicable laws and policies in Florida regarding expunging your record and the consequences of juvenile crimes in an adult’s life. We suggest you check with DCF first to see what their requirements are for foster and group home licensing. You can also look into clearing your juvenile record so offenses committed when you were under 18 don’t appear in background checks. Contact the courts you were in and ask about the “expungement process.” Or you could contact your former probation or parole officers for information. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Luis
      Fri, 15 Nov 2013 at 09:11

      I have a serious question to ask and I would very much appreiciate it if you help me out by answering it honestly. When I turned nineteen my senior year in High school i had to do community servce as a graduation requirement. As a result I ended up tutoring a after school program in my town. I was walkig home one evening after school and the police arrested me in front of my house before I was able to walk in. I had no idea what i have done! I was taken to the PD and questioned. They were asking me a bunch of questions but ofcourse i answered them because I knew i didnt do anything! As the questioning proceeded I found out they were charging me for sexually assaulting a nine year old. I told them I DIDNT DO IT! The Officer didnt believe me and took me to juvy. As i was in trail the cop said he got a confession out of me saying i admitted to the crime but he recorded our whole questioning when he arrested me. No where on the tape did i admitt to it! The cop LIED!!! My lawyer gave some evidence to the judge that made her realize that there was no way I could have done the crime the way the so called “victim” described it! The case was found NOT TRUE obviously because i was innocent!!!
      My question is if i can have this sealed and still be able to be a California Highway Patrol! Ive only had a couple run ins wit the law before that and it was cuz of resisting arrest and tresspassing becuase i decided to sneek into the pools while they were closed. And after the case was over a couple months later i got arrested for possesion of alcohol as a minor becuase i was at a graduation party. Bottom line is I am just a normal teen! I have NEVER done anything really bad in my life! Will i still be able to become a CHP if i get this record sealed?
      Sorry i meant 17 not 19 on my post above.
      I was 17 in high school when i was falsely accused.
      Dear Luis: Every state has its own laws regarding the expungement of juvenile records. Although “sealed” they may still be available to certain authorities under the law but sealed off from public inspection. You have several avenues you can pursue. You can contact the court you were in and ask about the expungment process. Or you can contact the lawyer who represented you at trial and inquire about it. The court may have an application for expungement online if they have a website. There’s also the possibility that state law prohibits expungement until you reach a certain age, 25 for example. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Luis
      Sat, 16 Nov 2013 at 12:59

      Well i wasn’t convicted the case was found not true! Isn’t the expungement only if you are convicted of the crime? I live in california By the way. You can’t expunge a conviction if it involves sex offenses. I wasnt convicted it was found not true in a juvenile court.
      Dear Luis: You can check with the police department involved and the court you were in to see if they have a record of your case. Even though you weren’t convicted they may be holding on to the file under current state law. That may mean there’s little you can do about the existence of the file. You can also contact a criminal defense attorney and obtain legal advice about this.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Josh
      Fri, 29 Nov 2013 at 01:25

      I am going to court next month for a misdemeanor(I am going to Juvenile Court). I was wondering if I plead guilty, would I be able to get it expunged/sealed when I’m 18. From your experience, if I plead guilty, will they allow me to apply for expungement? thanks
      Dear Josh: First, because you are going to juvenile court for a misdemeanor, it’s possible that you will be offered a diversion program and given the chance to avoid a record so long as you complete the program. Otherwise, if you admit to the charge, your record may be sealed once you turn 18 and not accessible to potential schools, employers, etc. as juvenile records are treated differently in every state. Yes, it’s possible to have your record destroyed or expunged even though you admit to the charge. Click here to find out more about how juvenile records are treated in your state. Also, you will have a chance to speak with a court or probation officer when you go to court and find out more about the process. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Jennifer
      Tue, 03 Dec 2013 at 01:51

      I have a question when I was around 15 16 years old I got a curfew ticket I never showed up to court because I was scared it was my first ticket in my life and didn’t know what to do it let years past and now it’s been 4 it less years and now I’m 18 and adult but I don’t have the ticket with me nomore I’ve lost and I was wondering what I can do in this case?
      Dear Jennifer: In all likelihood this ticket is history and you have nothing to worry about. Curfew is what’s called a “status offense” meaning only a minor can violate curfew just like truancy, runaway and disobedience. If you want you can contact the court and ask if they have a record of this incident. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • asiye
      Thu, 05 Dec 2013 at 06:09

      Hello I have a 16 year old son that was in treatment prgram which he completed and was out for 20 months before he now got in troubble again this time he has burglary charges. This is the first tie he has been charged with burglary . prior charges were assult charges.I feel as his attorney isn’t doing what she supposed to. My son admitted of having a drug issue he got addicted to perks due to a injury on his leg. How can I handle this situation. A drug and alocohol counsker ws laready contacted by the juvenile office and they are going to ask for a mental evaluation. How can I help my son. What is the worse that could happen to him ?
      Dear Asiye: It will be up to the judge assigned to your son’s case to decide the penalty and/or treatment he’ll receive. The evaluation should be helpful in assessing his needs. The laws in your state spell out the authority of the court and what consequences may be imposed if he’s found guilty of the burglary charges. Discuss this with his lawyer, probation officer and the judge at his hearings. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • John
      Fri, 13 Dec 2013 at 08:43

      I was charged with 3rd Degree Burglary in 2001 and was put on probation for 9 months and was released early and record was expunged. My goal is to become a Police Officer but with this being in the system how is this going to hurt me?FBI Can still access my expunged record? I was 18 at the time.
      Dear John: Every state has different laws concerning the treatment of criminal records including those that have been expunged and background checks. First, you may want to request a copy of your record through the court or the police department, so that you can see what is on it. Your record may show the original charge, but that ultimately the conviction was expunged. You could then try speaking with a recruiter or someone at the police department about the qualifications to become an officer and find out whether your expunged record will be a problem at all. Considering you were only 18 and that it was over 10 years ago, you may not have a problem. Good luck to you.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Grace Gray
      Tue, 17 Dec 2013 at 11:55

      My boyfriend got caught with more then 4 grams of drugs, I wrote him a letter saying that they were ours and for personal use not for him to sell. Can that get me in trouble? He keeps threatening to use it against me, after he assured me it could not get me into trouble.
      Dear Grace: Yes, it’s possible that it could be used against you if the police find out about the letter and decide to conduct a further investigation of your involvement. If your boyfriend is giving you mixed messages about his case as well as your culpability, you may want to consider limiting contact as you could be placing yourself at risk of being charged. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Guillermo Galindo
      Sun, 12 Jan 2014 at 09:28

      i wanted to know if i can fix my record and get my license my license been suspended till im 21…
      Dear Guillermo: That depends on the traffic laws in your state and the orders of the court that apply to you. Check with the department of motor vehicles and/or the court you were in. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Samantha
      Wed, 22 Jan 2014 at 01:35

      I am now 20 years old I had a suspension when I was 16 or 17 for truancy. I want to go get my permit can I do my hours with out serving my 3 months suspension. And would I be able to just serve it after I take my drivers test.
      Dear Samantha: You need to check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles to get an answer to your question. You could either try contacting them on the phone, however, going to the department and contacting them in person may get you more direct answers. Also, check out the DMV website for more info about suspensions, etc. Just Google the name of your state and “Department of Motor Vehicles” to find their website. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • jennifer turcios
      Thu, 23 Jan 2014 at 04:31

      well my name is Jennifer and im 17 years old I have a question to ask when I was 16 years of old I got caught stealing at Wal-Mart for a pair of headphones and I did go to court but for a hearing the only thing they made me take was an online class and a class of shoplifting and that’s all I needed to complete. I finish with all that I got a letter saying what I did didn’t affect me finding a job or entering college. But my concern is I want to become an crime scene technician and im doing research and I see they check background checks im worry so does this mean they will reject me ?? even tho when im 18 is everything going to delete? please reply:(
      Dear Jennifer: You completed what’s called a “diversion program.” That means since you successfully completed the classes, you shouldn’t have a record of this incident that will appear in a background check. That’s the purpose of diversion – to keep first-time offenders from getting a record that affects the rest of your life. Good luck with your education and future endeavors.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Barbra
      Sat, 01 Feb 2014 at 12:42

      Hi, my question is: my husband wjo is now 42 yrs old had a felony arrest when he was 17 for theft. His friend was the actual person who had stolen the property and eventually got arrested for it. My husband was discharged…..he always wanted to become a police officer but didn’t think he could because of this. Has NEVER been in trouble other than this. Can he become a police officer????? Thank you!!!! Barbra
      Dear Barbra: It all depends on the policies of the police department he would try to join and the laws of the state where you live. One thing he can do is check with the court he was involved in and see if they have a record on him. If they do, he can apply to have the record expunged. You don’t necessarily need a lawyer to do this. Go on the court’s website and look for “juvenile records” or “expungement” for information on applying to clear his record. Oftentimes, it’s a matter of completing an online form and submitting it. He can also talk with a local criminal defense attorney about this. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • GuillermoGalindo
      Mon, 03 Feb 2014 at 03:00

      i had to be 21 till i get my silence and i had a truancy in high school ticket and also on that i got another one for graffiti can i go to court and show i have improve in school can i be able to get my license ?
      Dear Guillermo: You can always ask the court to modify or vacate an earlier ruling or order. If you were represented by a lawyer or public defender at the time, contact that person for advice as to how to approach the court and if what you’re asking for is possible under the laws in your state. You can also check with the Department of Motor Vehicles about the license laws that apply to you. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • jose
      Sun, 09 Feb 2014 at 10:59

      When I was 16 I had a felony for rape want to know if that affects me in getting the deffered act. I went to a lawyer and paid for my case to be sealed .
      Dear Jose: Please tell us what you mean by “getting the defferred act.” If you mean qualifying for a diversion program for a new offense, that depends on what the new crime is, your history since the rape felony and other factors.

    • Paul
      Thu, 13 Feb 2014 at 07:50

      I am having court to seal my Juvenal record in a week. Some one opposes me sealing my record what happens at court then? Also the reason I am sealing them is so I can go throughout NROTC for the Marine Corps. This case is in Iowa.
      Dear Paul: The judge may want to hear from both sides and take both sides into consideration. Look into the requirements for sealing a record in your state and be prepared to explain why you want your record sealed and why it should be (for example, the fact that you want to enlist with the Marines). Finally, depending on the position of the party opposing the sealing of your record, you could consider consulting with a local criminal defense attorney. Many attorneys offer a free initial consultation or perhaps your local legal aid office may be able to assist you. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Ty
      Fri, 28 Mar 2014 at 01:52

      I just wanted to know if it’s possible to get my juvenile record expunged if i was detained only once for assault charges (2) and i then got caught shoplifting 2 weeks in to my probation but i have been good since i just wanted to rid of my record so i can enlist in the Marine Corps.
      Dear Ty: Every state has its own laws regarding the destruction of juvenile records. You can contact the court you were in and ask about this or go to the court’s website. You don’t need a lawyer to apply for expungement. You can also contact your former probation officer and ask about the process. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Ana
      Sat, 29 Mar 2014 at 11:56

      What will happend if u were in possesion of alcohol in school? What will the judge ask or tell you?
      Dear Ana: You may be offered a diversion program when you go to court. This means that once you complete some community service, pay a fine and attend an alcohol awareness class or counseling, the charges may be dropped. If diversion is an option in your case, you may not even see a judge when you go to court. If you end up before a judge, he/she may ask you about what happened that resulted in you being cited. You will find out more when you go to court including what your options are. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Antin
      Fri, 11 Apr 2014 at 07:35

      I was adjudicated in the state of ohio as a minor for a misdemeanor sex offense and required to register as a juvenile offender ,my record was never made public, I am now 25 and living in Tennessee and TBI is about to release me from the juvenile registration. I was wonder if its possible for me to get a armed guard permit with the sex offense on my juvenile record, If I got my record destroyed or expunged would that help?
      Dear Antin: Getting your juvenile record expunged is a good idea. That way you’ll know it can’t follow you around the rest of your life. It’s a fairly simple process and you don’t necessarily need a lawyer to do it. Go to the court’s website and see if they have an online application. Many courts do. As far as getting an “armd guard permit” that depends on the laws in Tennessee and the company’s policies. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Sammy
      Wed, 07 May 2014 at 12:46

      Hello dear magistrates ‘my name is Sammy and I’m a High School graduate attempting to join the ARMY I recently pass the ASFAV and was ready to serve my country, I was very exited to join since I have always felt that the military is the way for me. I Graduated high school with many accomplishments I learned English and meet people from different organizations of leadership and service to the community I also endow our in a journey retracing the Lewis and Clark trail. Summer of 2012 I cycle the United States Wild West with Spoken Revolutions, a non-profitable organization that offered me the opportunity for school purposes. My intend is humble and sincere, I would like to appeal to your courts to get my charges drop since I believe a man’s future and desire to serve his country shouldn’t be define by one mistake he made as a child.
      Dear Sam: We suggest you contact the court you were in as a juvenile and ask about the expungement process. You may be able to apply online or you can contact the public defender’s office and ask for assistance. If you had a private lawyer at the time, contact that person for advice.
      Keep up the great work you do. Good luck. -ATJ.info

    • Manny Watson
      Thu, 08 May 2014 at 08:03

      So i was charged with aiding and abetting for being a look out in a grand theft robbery. They gave me a felony 5. So what i want to know is if this will effect my future. i am a minor. And i don’t expect to get into ANY more trouble. I just want to go straight for the rest of my life. I plan on joining the military.
      Dear Manny: Depending on the laws in your state, this Felony 5 may or may not affect your future. Check with the court you went to and ask about the expungement process. Once you turn 18 or possibly an older age, you can apply to have your record destroyed. You can also ask your lawyer, if you had one, or your probation officer for advice. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • oba
      Sun, 25 May 2014 at 01:53

      i was arrested for grand larceny at 17 the charge was dismissed and sealed but it still may hinder me from joining the marines what can i do to get this removed i have not been arrested since ive been 18
      Dear Oba: You may be able to ask for an expungement of your juvenile record. Check with the court you were in, by phone or online, and see if you qualify for destruction of your record. You could also contact the court and ask for the attorney who represented you, if you had one. The court may have an online form you can use to apply for expungement. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Chris
      Mon, 26 May 2014 at 06:55

      I was recently arrested for criminal mischief and burglary. I went to juvinial prison for about 12 hours all i did was sit in a chair until they called me to leave. will this affect my job opportunities?
      Dear Chris: An arrest alone as a juvenile should not affect your future employment opportunities. Even if charges are filed, they may be sealed since you’re a minor or you can ask the court to expunge them once you’re 18 or older. You may want to request a copy of your record once you turn 18, so you can see if anything appears on it and then perhaps request the court to expunge or destroy your record if that’s a possibility. Good luck.
      (Check our Resource Directory for more help and resources in your area. This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Jessica
      Wed, 28 May 2014 at 11:36

      If someone is a juvenile and has been cited for burlgary and shoplifting does that count as one strike towards the three strike law?
      Dear Jessica: You would have to look to the specific state laws at issue, but it’s very unlikely that a juvenile offense, one that stays in juvenile court, would be considered a “strike” as it would not be considered a prior “conviction.” Thanks for asking.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Jessica
      Wed, 28 May 2014 at 11:41

      Can people that are not first time offenders but second time offenders qualify for the diversion program?
      Dear Jessica: It depends on the laws of that state as well as the rules/policies of the court and prosecutor’s office. Diversion is most frequently offered to first time offenders of lower level (misdemeanor and petty) offenses, however, that does not necessarily mean that a second offense is automatically prohibited from being on diversion. You would have to check with the state laws for the specific offense and then find out what the policies are for diversion in that county.
      (Check our Resource Directory for more help and resources in your area. This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Eric
      Wed, 28 May 2014 at 12:15

      Hello, I was adjudicated delinquent at the ages 14-15 for theft. 2 felonies 3 misdemeanors. im not sure of the classes. Im 24 now trying to buy a gun in utah where the theft took place, i have had no convictions or any trouble with the law since then aside from a speeding ticket which is now off my record. I was denied on the background check and now must appeal. If this juvenile record is responsible for denial, what actions should i take to pass the background check? I know expunging in utah doesnt mean the files are destroyed, rather they are sealed. should iexpunge before i drive down to appeal the denial?
      Dear Eric: Expunging your juvenile record certainly couldn’t hurt the background process and may in fact result in you being cleared. You could try checking with an employee at a gun shop to see if they can provide more information about the process to be approved to purchase a gun in Utah. Also, check out this website about the collateral consequences of a juvenile record in your state. It may provide more specific information about how a juvenile record could have an effect on your Second Amendment rights.
      (Check our Resource Directory for more help and resources in your area. This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Savannah
      Wed, 28 May 2014 at 03:48

      I’m 17 and i was cited with burlgary. My mother said i can still go to jail for this depending on the judge. I’m really scared now. The first time I was cired for shoplifting and now im cited for burlgary. I really want to know if what she said is true and what should i do. I feel like everything is falling apart and i dont know what to do.
      Dear Savannah: The possible consequences you face depend on a number of factors including the specific facts and circumstances of your case, your criminal record, the laws in your state and the rules/policies of the court and prosecutor’s office. Also, whether your case stays in juvenile court or is transferred to adult court will make a difference. Although this is your second offense, you may be placed on probation and given community service hours, fines, and have to attend educational classes or counseling. Although jail time is a possibility, it may not be imposed unless you violate the terms of your probation. You will find out more when you go to court. We hope you have learned from this as the consequences will increase if you get into trouble again. Good luck.
      (Check our Resource Directory for more help and resources in your area. This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Flyby86
      Tue, 10 Jun 2014 at 07:11

      Hi I am inquiring about some information regarding my 18 year old son. He is currently tryin to enlist with the military. He was charged with a possession of marijuana second charge that was dismissed. will this prevent him from joining
      Dear Flyby86: It’s going to depend on the policies of whichever branch of the military he wants to join and what his juvenile record shows. First, he may want to request a copy of his record so he can see what, if anything, is on it. Then he could look into getting his record expunged. He may be able to request an expungement online through the court’s website or contact the court and ask about how to begin the process. You can find out more about having a juvenile record in your state and the expungement process through this site. Finally, he could talk to a recruiter about the requirements for enlisting and whether his history will be an issue at all. Good luck to your son.
      (Check our Resource Directory for more help and resources in your area. This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • beth
      Mon, 23 Jun 2014 at 03:57

      okay well I’m 16 and i live in georgia , a few days after school closes for summer break my mother leaves her car in the garage and i take the car out for a spin just around the neighborhood but then i busted dared myself to drive on the road. Minutes later the cops pull me over and give me a 2 ticket citations for driving unlicensed and no headlights, mind you i had a instructional permit and the time was around 4 am. No the cops didn’t let me go with a warning but they give me a break by not taking to jail that morning. its been a month now and I’m nervous and terrified of what will happen to me in court. I know what i didn’t wasn’t a smart thing to do but clearly i wasn’t thinking that hard of the effects of this stupid act.I wanted to know can you please tell me what will happen to me in court? thank you
      Dear Beth: If this is your first offense, you may be offered diversion. That means if you admit what you did, and then complete some community service, attend a class or counseling, the charges will be dismissed and you won’t have a record. The court may also cancel your permit for a period of time (six months or so) depending on the laws in your state. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Denisse
      Fri, 27 Jun 2014 at 04:14

      Yesterday I was caught taking makeup from khols and I’m 17. I’ll be 18 in 3 months. I read about the diversion program, I live in northwest indiana. Do you think it will be offered to me? And could it ruin my chances of law school?
      Dear Denisse: If this is your first offense, then there’s a good chance that you’ll be offered diversion. The point of diversion is to divert the offense away from the criminal justice system and give you a chance of avoiding a record so it should not affect your ability to go to law school. Good luck.
      (Check our Resource Directory for more help and resources in your area. This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Scott
      Fri, 27 Jun 2014 at 01:36

      When I was 17 I was arrested for theft in Washington State and did a diversion program to not be convicted. Upon community service completion for the program and 2 yrs of no trouble with the law, my records were expunged. I am 22 now, will third party background check agencies be able to view my expunged criminal file on a FBI Fingerprint Background Check? Thank You
      Dear Scott: It ultimately depends on the laws in your state. Sometimes a record check may show that there was an arrest, but that any record has been expunged. In the alternative, an expunged record may result in nothing appearing during a record check. Review the information provided by the American Bar Association’s website Beforeyouplea.com, which is a state by state guide as to the collateral consequences of a juvenile record. Good luck.
      (Check our Resource Directory for more help and resources in your area. This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Jeremy
      Mon, 30 Jun 2014 at 07:45

      So my niece who lives in MN has had a few brush ins with the law as a minor, but recently she had a real bad one. She is 17, and just had 9 charges brought down on her, 2 of which are felonies. My parents, (her legal guardians), tell me that she was tried as a minor, that she would be considered a minor until she finishes pronation/chemical dependency treatment at age 19, and that the charges will not follow her into adulthood so long as she is able to complete all rehabilitation programs. So my question to you is this…I see you say to a lot of people here that records can be suppressed/expunged from permanent files, but does that include felonies?
      Dear Jeremy: Yes, it could include felonies but ultimately depends on her state’s laws and the specific charges filed against her. Check out the following site which contains information state by state about having a juvenile record and getting it expunged or destroyed. Good luck to your niece.
      (Check our Resource Directory for more help and resources in your area. This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Shawn
      Fri, 11 Jul 2014 at 02:02

      When I was 17 a sex offense happened between my sister and I. I took full responsibility for what happened because I was older and paid for my crime. I successfully completed my probation and my time on the registry and I am now legally off the registry. I haven’t been in trouble before this crime nor afterward. My question is that I was waved to adult court at the time of this, is it possible to go back and get my record destroyed? I’m currently 28 and almost finished with my college classes taking Network Systems Administration. I’m trying to get my life back together and I’m having a hard time getting a good job because of my background. Any information you can provide would be helpful.
      Dear Shawn: First, good job in getting your life on track. As far as getting your record destroyed or expunged, you have to look to the laws in your state. Every state has its own laws & procedures regarding the destruction of criminal records. We suggest you talk with a criminal defense attorney about this. Many provide free initial consultations, so ask about this when you call. You can also contact the court you were in and ask about the process. Take a look at this website from the American Bar Association for information on this subject. You can also check our Resource Directory for help and resources in your area. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Bryan
      Wed, 23 Jul 2014 at 06:41

      dear judge tom:
      i was caught stilling car rims and punished withthe law 487 and got taken to juvinelle justice. completed jail time 20 hours and placed on house arrest. i took of my bracelet and disconected the eloctronic monitor. i was 17 and im 21 now. i have a family and have worked hard since. i want to get my record seald any tips please?
      Dear Bryan: Contact the court you were in and ask about the process for getting your record expunged or destroyed. Most states have a way to apply for this. You don’t necessarily need a lawyer – you might even be able to apply online if the court has a website. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Fiona
      Sat, 26 Jul 2014 at 06:42

      Yesterday, i did the most stupid decition i’ve ever made. I shoped at a store and decided to self pay. Since i didnt had enough money due to the hours they had reduce at my job i pay for some items but left the rest in the shopping car and walked away. I never thought the police was watching so they enter me at the room with the cameras and asked me questions. I was so nervous couldn’t talk right and at the end the police gave me a warning and told me that i will receive a letter the show up in court but from there on he does not know what the judge will tell me. my question is will that stay in my record even if the police did not arrest me? Will that affect me if i want to move in any apt or apply for a job? Tha it my main concern :(
      Dear Fiona: There are two notices you could get in the mail as a result of this incident. First, you could get a notice advising you of a court date. Don’t miss the hearing. The legal process will be explained to you when you appear at your hearing. If this is your first offense, you may be eligible for “diversion.”
      Once you finish the terms of diversion, the case will be closed and you won’t have a record that will affect the rest of your life. You could also get a letter from the store or the attorneys who represent the store asking for payment of a civil fine. Once the fine is paid, the case is over and there’s no official record that can follow you around. Good luck & don’t give in to the temptation to steal again. Consequences get harsher as someone reoffends.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • jacquie
      Sat, 09 Aug 2014 at 12:49

      I was at some store with some family members the other day and they stuffed something in my bag. As we were walking out we got caught. I’m 16 years old in California and going to be a senior high school and have a 4.0, I planned on attending college and really want to be successful, but now I have this. The police officer told my mom that he wasn’t going to put it on record, but that I would be reviewing a ticket in the mail. My questions are well, first, will this actually show up on record and is the ticket under my name? Also, how does this affect my college applications and financial aid?
      Dear Jacquie: First, it’s possible that you will just receive a civil demand letter requesting payment of a civil fine. If that happens and you do not have to go to court, then there will be no record. Otherwise, if you receive a notice in the mail to appear in court, then there’s a good chance that you will be offered diversion and the opportunity to avoid a record so long as you successfully complete the program. Therefore, potential colleges and schools should not find out about the incident. You will find out more once you receive a notice in the mail. Good luck.
      (Check our Resource Directory for more help and resources in your area. This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • fxm5587
      Wed, 13 Aug 2014 at 02:56

      I was convicted of a 211p.c as a juvenile at the age of 13. I was sent to juvenile hall for 30 days. That has been my first and only offense in life. When i was 18 i got my record sealed even though everyone told me a 211 p. c is not a seal able felony. I am know wanting to become a police officer at the age of 24. I s it possible for me to work in law enforcement?
      Dear fxm5587: It’s certainly possible, but you need to look at the requirements for becoming an officer with the department you are interested in. Also, even though you got your record sealed, there may be another step you can take by either expunging or destroying your record. Again, first find out the requirements to become an officer. You can check out the following link to find out more about your juvenile record in California. Good luck.
      (Check our Resource Directory for more help and resources in your area. This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Kelly
      Fri, 15 Aug 2014 at 06:55

      If a minor gets offered diversion for an MIP charge and then gets caught shoplifting, while on diversion, what are the chances a judge will be lenient? Is there any way she could get diversion for both or is there a possibility of losing the diversion opportunity because she shoplifted while on diversion?
      Dear Kelly: It depends on the laws in your state and the policies of the court and probation department. The fact that she was given diversion for the first offense and then, while in the program, committed another crime, is not in her favor. She may have jeopardized the diversion opportunity for the MIP. She could luck out, however, and be continued in the program with additional consequences. It’s time for her to wake up to reality. She may be facing detention in the near future. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Lisa
      Tue, 19 Aug 2014 at 11:35

      I am still a juvenile and have been given a citation for disorderly conduct and have been given a court date, but if I plead guilty and pay the fine,will this show on my permit record?
      Dear Lisa: Considering this is in juvenile court and you most likely will be offered a diversion program, then it’s not likely going to be on your permanent record. Most juvenile court records are “sealed” once a minor becomes an adult. Therefore, they do not show up in background checks, etc. Check out this site for more information about your juvenile record and how it’s treated in your state based on the state laws. Good luck.
      (Check our Resource Directory for more help and resources in your area. This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • mark
      Tue, 19 Aug 2014 at 01:17

      I did 2 years porbation when I was 16 , im 49 now the record should be sealed never did anything since then, can that affect me from getting a firearms purchaser id card
      Dear Mark: It depends on the guns laws in your state. The specific offense for which you were on probation may come into play. You can ask the owner of a gun shop about this or where to find the requirements to obtain such a card. Good luck.
      (Check our Resource Directory for more help and resources in your area. This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Nicole
      Mon, 25 Aug 2014 at 02:08

      hi, I’m 17 and i will be applying to college this December. I got caught shoplifting when I was 13, i went to court and the judge just made me pay a fine. I’m not sure if its on my record. I have not committed any crime since then, how would i clear my record>
      Dear Nicole: You may have completed a diversion program. Either way, it’s unlikely that you would have any record that would show up for school purposes. To double check, you could contact the court where you had to appear and ask for a copy of your record, so you can verify that nothing is on it. Good luck.
      (Check our Resource Directory for more help and resources in your area. This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Bruce Harn
      Mon, 25 Aug 2014 at 09:57

      When I was thirteen years old, my grandfather punch me in the mouth, I ran next door and called the police and told them what happened, they came out and my grandfather told them I had fought my brother and that I was a runaway, so I went to court not even knowing what charges I was getting, the public defender told me if I fought my case and lose then I could get a full year in a detention center, so me being vulnerable and scared I signed a paper they told me to sign. I just thought they were giving me an unruly charge. I spent a month in a detention center, and also done 4 months of probation and got off early for good behavior. Now almost 6 years later I am about to turn 19, I went to join the military and my charges popped up, I am just now finding out about my charge, which is battery family violence. My brother has written statements saying himself that I have never once fought him, he could also be a witness for me. Is there anyway that I could prove my innocence or even bring my grandfather to court to overturn my past case? Most of all is there a chance I could get my juvenile record destroyed permanently?
      To add to my previous comment, I have a perfect driving record and have had no encounters with the law ever since I was let off of probation almost 6 years ago. I also just graduated high school, barely missing out on being an honor grad by 4 points, and have a certificate showing that I was on Honor Roll this year with a grade average of 93.3. Could I use this provable information to help me get my juvenile record destroyed?
      Dear Bruce: Yes, you can apply to the court you were in for an expungment of your juvenile record. Contact the court and ask about the process. You don’t need a lawyer – that’s your call. Usually it’s a simple one-two page application that you complete and file with the court. There may be a small fee. If you remember the name of the court, see if they have a website and you may be able to apply online. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Lindsey
      Wed, 27 Aug 2014 at 10:56

      Hi. I was sited for underage Drunking with a BAC of .01. I was told I can ask for Adjudication. Will this be my one and only chance to keep my record clean, or will I be eligible for ARD once I turn 18? Does this Adjudication count as my one ARD?
      Dear Lindsey: It depends on the laws in your state as well as the policies/rules of the court and prosecutor’s office. You can ask about this when you go to court, but it would be best to learn from this and not plan on getting any more tickets or citations in the future. Good luck.
      (Check our Resource Directory for more help and resources in your area. This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Kevin B Archila
      Wed, 27 Aug 2014 at 05:16

      I m 21 year old, I got truancy tickets when I was in high school. What I have to do, to delete those tickets from my record, because they are not letting me take my driver license. Could you advice. Thank you.
      Dear Kevin: Depending on the laws in your state, the case could still be open if you never took care of the tickets. That may be why you’re not able to get your driver’s license. Call the court and ask if you have any pending case and that you would like to take care of any outstanding tickets. Good luck.
      (Check our Resource Directory for more help and resources in your area. This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Lakricia Thomas
      Fri, 29 Aug 2014 at 05:41

      This my first time for petit theft i go to court next month for it I was wondering how can I ask the job to dismissal is off my record because i don’t wanted it to follow me on my record
      Dear Lakricia: Since this is your first offense, you may be offered what’s called “diversion.” That means if you admit what you did and complete some community service, attend a class or counseling, the case will be closed and you won’t have a record. That’s the purpose of diversion. When you go to court, you can also ask the probation or court officer you’ll meet with about clearing your record. Good luck.
      We deleted your phone number in the interest of privacy since our responses are posted for the world to see.
      (This is information only – not legal advice)

    • Nene SharkySmith
      Mon, 01 Sep 2014 at 04:54

      Who can I contact about my juvenile felonys I’m in job corp an that’s affecting me wanting to get a job what should I contact?
      Dear Nene: You could contact the court where the charges were filed and ask how to begin the process to expunge or destroy your juvenile record. You may be able to fill out forms and request an expungement online through the court’s website. You can check out this site for more information about the laws in your state. Good luck.
      (Check our Resource Directory for more help and resources in your area. This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Pavlo Kozak
      Mon, 08 Sep 2014 at 04:23

      Hi my name is Pavlo and I have questions regarding the military(Marines). I was 16 when I was arrested for possession of marijuana in new jersey. I had less than a gram. On the police report it states less then 50 grams. The marines only allow you to join if on record it states less than 30 grams, which I did. I am not able to get a new report that states how much I had. The marines will not let me join until they have on paper that I had less than 30 grams. What should I do?
      Dear Pavlo: It seems that somewhere there should be a record (perhaps in the original police paperwork) of how much exactly you had in your possession. Be sure to request copies of all the paperwork and record from the court as well as the police department so you can comb through it and see if the specific amount is listed anywhere. If not, you could consider looking into getting the record expunged if possible and if it would help you join the Marines. Finally, you could consult with a criminal defense attorney in your area who may be able to file a request for clarification or another motion asking the court for assistance in making the record clear. Good luck to you.
      (Check our Resource Directory for more help and resources in your area. This is information only – not legal advice.)

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