Juvenile crimes in California do appear on your criminal record. Upon your 18th birthday, you are eligible to petition to have your juvenile records sealed. Once sealed, no one can gain access to them and they will be completely destroyed five years from the date of sealing. Juvenile records are not automatically sealed upon your 18th birthday.
California Welfare and Institutions Code § 781 is the statute that gives you the legal right to have your juvenile record sealed. You can seal all court, probation and police records created in relation to each case. Sealing the record does not happen automatically. You must affirmatively petition the juvenile court to have them sealed.
When Can You Ask to Have Your Juvenile Record Sealed?
You can ask to have your juvenile record sealed five years or more after juvenile court jurisdiction has ended or after you have reached the age of 18, whichever comes first.
(T.N.G. v. Superior Court (1971) 4 Cal.3d 767)
Who Can Have a Juvenile Record Sealed?
You must not have been convicted, as an adult, of any felony or any misdemeanor involving “moral turpitude”. (“Moral Turpitude” is defined as crimes that show baseness, vileness, depravity, or which violate moral sentiment or accepted moral standards of the community, such as crimes involving theft, fraud, sex, or drugs.)
You must be able to show the court: 1) that you have been “rehabilitated”; 2) that your case started and ended in juvenile court; and 3) that you do not have an open civil suit regarding the actions that caused your juvenile record. (But once the civil suit has ended, your record can be sealed.). You must pay in full all previous fines or restitution owed to the court as an adult or juvenile, including any traffic fines.
For a free consultation to discuss your case, please contact the top California criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich by calling 888.280.6839. Our staff of lawyers are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer any of your questions. You can also visit us at www.wklaw.com for more information.