Crimes committed at the age of 17 years old or younger are considered juvenile crimes, and they will be tried with the offender’s age in mind. The sentence will be appropriate for a juvenile and take into account the juvenile’s behavior and past history. Often, juvenile criminal records are sealed and can be viewed only in limited circumstances. If there is a civil action associated with the crime, that will not be sealed, and it may also be beneficial to seek expungement of the offense.
Even though juvenile criminal records are sealed, there may still be benefits to seeking an expungement. An expungement is a legal erasure of the crime, and after an expungement is approved by a judge, in the eyes of the legal system, the crime never happened. Expungement can have benefits if the juvenile later wants to seek certain types of employment, apply for a firearms permit, and restore voting rights.
Expungements can help offenders obtain mortgages and other bank loans. A lawyer can help advise juveniles about how an expungement can be beneficial in the future. Criminal records do not just go away with the passage of time. These records are permanent and can have implications for the future of a juvenile offender.
What are Expungable Offenses?
The types of crimes that can normally be expunged include:
- Arrests with no convictions.
- Young drug offender records.
- Municipal ordinance violations.
- Indictable offenses.
- Disorderly person offenses.
- Juvenile delinquency offenses.
What is the Criteria for Expungement?
In order to seek expungement, juveniles must meet the following criteria:
- There cannot be any pending charges against the person seeking expungement.
- Those seeking expungement cannot have more than three petty offenses on their record.
- There cannot be any indictable crime or felony convictions.
- At least five years must have passed since the offender was convicted, paid the required fines, and released from detention or completed probation, whichever occurred later in time.
Gathering together all of the relevant records court records from the criminal case is the first step in seeking expungement. Then, the past offender must file a petition with the court. It can take a number of months for the court to finally look at the petition and make a decision on whether or not to grant the expungement.
A lawyer can help the past offender make sure that the petition has the information that is most likely to help the court grant the expungement. Occasionally, past offenders may have to appear in court. In some situations, a lawyer can appear in court for the offender.
South Jersey Expungement Lawyers at Agre & St. John Help Individuals Get Criminal Records Expunged
If you have a juvenile criminal record, you may be able to seek an expungement. The South Jersey expungement lawyers at Agre & St. John can help you determine if expungement would be beneficial to you. We can help guide you on what information is needed for your petition. Located in Haddonfield, New Jersey, we serve clients through South Jersey, including Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, and Salem County. Contact us online or call us at 856-428-7797 for an initial consultation.