Will a Juvenile Crime Stay on My Record Forever?

When it comes to juvenile crimes in California, one of the most common questions our Fresno criminal defense attorney receives from our clients is, “Will a juvenile criminal offense stay on my record for life?”

The short answer, “It depends on the circumstances of the crime.”

If you have a California juvenile criminal record, you may be eligible to have it “sealed.” This means your file closes so that the documents in it essentially cease to exist and are no longer public records.

If all of the following are true, you may apply to have your juvenile criminal record sealed in California:

  • You are 18 years of age or older, or the jurisdiction of the juvenile court terminated at least at least five years ago
  • You have not been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude (i.e. dishonest or immoral behavior)
  • The court believes you have been rehabilitated
  • There is no pending civil litigation stemming from any of your juvenile incidents

In addition to the eligibility described above, another class of people may qualify to have their juvenile records sealed. If you were released due to insufficient evidence, the charges were dismissed, you were discharged without a conviction, or you were acquitted of the charges.

However, you are ineligible to have your juvenile record sealed if you were convicted of one of a select list of particularly serious offenses committed after you turned 14 years old.

These serious offenses include:

  • Murder or attempted murder
  • Arson
  • Robbery
  • Carjacking
  • Sex crimes
  • Firearm offenses
  • Torture
  • Any violent felony

If you are able to get those records sealed, it could be easier for you to obtain employment, get a driver’s clients, file for a loan, rent a place to live, and enroll in college courses.

If you or your child has been arrested for a juvenile crime in Northern California, schedule a free consultation with our Fresno criminal defense attorney at The Law Office of Brian C. Andritch today.


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