How to I clean up my juvenile record?
After going through a juvenile case, you may be eligible to have the record sealed and destroyed thereby obliterating the record for all time. Our team has helped countless clients to move forward in life without letting their criminal record hold them back.
What cases are eligible for sealing?
Some juvenile cases are eligible for automatic sealing but for others you must fill out and submit an application. Cases that should be automatically sealed are those in which the minor (any person under the age of 18) was charged with a non-violent crime (any crime not enumerated in Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) 707(b)) but the charges were dismissed. Additionally in cases where the individual has successfully completed the terms of their probation the charges are dismissed and the record should be sealed. It is important to remember that this may not actually happen automatically and it is your responsibility to inquire and then follow up with an application if your record has not been sealed.
What do I need to do to start the process?
To apply for sealing of records, you or your attorney must fill out and file an application for sealing of records at the juvenile court where you were prosecuted. The application can be picked up in person or be requested by mail. Click here to see an example of the application.
You are eligible to request sealing after you reach the age of 18 or after 5 years from the date of the offense, whichever comes first. Once you have reviewed the requirements you or your attorney should fill out the application and submit it along with any documentation that helps demonstrate your efforts at reform. This includes school transcripts, community service, diplomas, or evidence of employment. When your application is complete you should submit the completed package to the court. In the County of San Diego you can submit your application to: San Diego County Juvenile Court Business Office, 2851 Meadow Lark Drive, 2nd Floor, San Diego, CA 92123. A filing fee of $150 must be submitted with your application. The fee is waived if you are under the age of 26 or if you qualify for an income based waiver. Waiver forms are available from the Business Office.
What happens after I submit my application?
After your application has been submitted a probation officer will conduct a background investigation. They will confirm that you have completed all the terms and conditions of your probation and they’ll verify your work or school information submitted with your application. When the background investigation is complete they will submit a report to the court with either a recommendation that the record be sealed or denial containing an explanation for the denial.
If your application was denied you are eligible to apply again as soon as you like, there is no required waiting time. Keep in mind that you must submit the $150 filing fee with each submitted application.
Hearing before a juvenile judge
When the probation officer recommends that your application be approved the next step is to schedule a juvenile court hearing with a judge, the probation officer, and the district attorney. You do not need to be present at this hearing. At this hearing the judge will make the final decision on whether your application will be approved or denied. You have the right to be represented by an attorney at this hearing who can present arguments on your behalf.
How Does My Record Get Sealed?
After approval of your application the court will send notification to all agencies (including police, probation, and courts) that were involved in your case to seal your record and report that you have no record if an inquiry is made about you. The only exceptions to this are that you must disclose if you are applying for military services or federal security clearance. Additionally, the DMV in Sacramento is able to access your records if an insurance company requests information. When this is complete you can legally report that you have no criminal record.
When handling any juvenile criminal matter it is important to have an attorney who is well versed in the law and procedures unique to the juvenile court process. The Law Office of Matthew Speredelozzi has years of experience and expertise in juvenile matters. For personalized assistance contact us at 619.363.1405.