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Juvenile Law

What is a delinquent act?


- A delinquent act is an act that would be considered a crime if committed by an adult. When a child is found guilty of committing a delinquent act, he or she is adjudicated delinquent, which is not the same thing as being convicted of a crime.


What is expungement?

- Expungement means that your juvenile record is erased and no one can see it. For help filing a motion for expungement, please contact us.

    Are juvenile records automatically expunged after age 18?

    No. You must petition the court for an expungement The court will keep your record for 25 years unless you are granted an expungement and police records could be kept longer.


When can I get my juvenile record expunged?

- The court will expunge your record if it finds the charge has been dismissed; six months have passed since your final discharge from supervision under a consent decree and no juvenile or criminal charges are pending; five years have passed since your final discharge and you have never been charged with another crime; or you are over 18 and the district attorney has consented to expunge your record.


Can a college find out if I have a juvenile record?

- If you were charged with an offense and adjudicated delinquent it is possible that a college can find out if you have a juvenile record. You should try to expunge your record so that it will not get in the way of your future.


How do I answer if a college application asks me if I have ever been convicted of a crime?

- Juvenile adjudication is not the same as a criminal conviction. If you only have been found delinquent by a juvenile court, you have not been convicted of a crime and can answer “no” to this question.


Can having a juvenile record be a barrier to enlisting in the military?

- The military can see your juvenile record even if it has been expunged. The branches of the military are federal agencies and are allowed to apply their own rules and regulations, which may be different from state law. The military requires “moral fitness” of its soldiers and may conclude that you are not morally fit for enlistment based on their regulations.


Is there anything I can do if the military says my juvenile record is standing in the way of my enlistment?

- If you are interested in a career in the military and are being told that your juvenile record is creating a problem, ask for a waiver as soon as you can. When you ask for a waiver, you are asking the military to consider all of your strengths, improvements and progress you have made since. It is also helpful to have recommendations from people who know you and can speak about your good character.

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