Juvenile criminal records in most states are not confidential and are not saved in the most secure places ever. Such information that pertain to a child’s arrest is not kept confidential when the child has committed a crime that would be considered as a felony when committed by an adult, when convicted by the court for more than three offenses which in an adult’s court could be termed as misdemeanors or when the child is transferred to the adult legal system to be prosecuted.
Simply put, when a child is arrested on a charge of felony, his or her criminal records are no longer deemed to be confidential. If the child is arrested more than thrice for misdemeanor, then his or her records are no longer considered confidential. In most states, juvenile criminal records are destroyed or expunged if the child is not a frequent offender or if the child has never been to a correctional facility. If the above mentioned are followed, the criminal records in the child’s name will be expunged when the child reaches twenty four years of age, otherwise, it is at the age of twenty six that these records would be considered for removal.
Many parents are not in a position to wait till the age limit for the records to be expunged because they are worried that such records would definitely affect their child’s future and in a lot of ways would become a criteria because of which the child is unable to enjoy certain benefits. Luckily for such parents, they can have these records expunged if the child has adhered to all eligibility criterion mentioned. There is also a “one time in a lifetime” option available to have the juvenile records expunged. However, if you abide by the regular statutes to expunge the records then you would not be able to opt for the “one time in a lifetime” option.
Just so you know there are also certain special circumstances where the criminal records can be expunged before the officiated time of twenty four years of age. If a child enters the teen-court for the very first time and serves the sentence as given by the court, the court may immediately seal his or her records provided the child does not take part in any further misdemeanors. Moreover, such a clause is plausible only if the first charge is non-violent in nature.