Sealing Juvenile Records

Getting Your Juvenile Records SealedCalifornia Welfare and Institutions Code Section 781 allows people with juvenile records to petition the courts to have those records sealed. With more and more information available online, it can be beneficial to have your juvenile records sealed if you're applying for a job or to college, or are being considered for a promotion with your current employer.

Juvenile Courts v. Adult Courts

If you're 18 years or older and are arrested for violation of a state or local law, your matter is dealt with in the county superior court. Adults who are found guilty of a felony or misdemeanor have a criminal record.

Juvenile courts, in contrast, handle minors, people 17 years of age and younger. If you are found guilty in a juvenile court, you have what is called a juvenile delinquency adjudication. The notion behind giving minors this designation rather than an adult criminal record is that some young people do not understand the responsibilities that come with citizenship, nor do they appreciate the consequences of their actions. The problem, however, is that a juvenile delinquency adjudication can still have negative consequences, hindering chances for employment or admission to college.

Requirements to Have Juvenile Records SealedWhen your juvenile records are sealed, the court issues an order requiring all case documents - police and probation reports, court records - sealed and inaccessible. (DMV records of driving violations are the exception.) Once the juvenile records are sealed, the courts and law enforcement agencies must report that they have no records of a juvenile violation, and you may legally say that you have no juvenile convictions. After five years, all records are destroyed.

You may request to have your juvenile records sealed if these requirements are met:
  • It has been five years since your supervision by juvenile court ended or you have reached 18 years of age, whichever comes first;
  • Your case began and ended in juvenile court;
  • You have not been convicted of an adult court felony, or an adult court misdemeanor involving moral turpitude;
  • You have not been convicted of any crimes listed under California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 707(b) after turning 14 years of age, including murder, arson, violent felonies, robbery, certain types of assaults and sex offenses and other serious violations;
  • You do not have civil actions pending against you related to the incident that you want sealed;
  • You have paid all fines and restitution;
  • You can demonstrate that you have been rehabilitated.
Free and Confidential ConsultationIf you would like to have your juvenile records sealed, contact me at (916) 442-1200 to discuss the details of your case.