Can I Expunge My Juvenile Criminal Record?


Can I Expunge My Juvenile Criminal Record?

What happens to a youth offender’s juvenile court record when the youth becomes an adult?  The answer is complex and requires explanation:

Offenses committed by youth offenders are usually handled in juvenile court, in most cases criminal charges that occurred prior to the age of 21.

It is important to note that even as an adult the  juvenile court record does not simply disappear. Youth offenders who wish to have their juvenile court records removed must follow a complicated and exacting process.  Provided int the Utah Juvenile Court Act.

Pursuant to the Utah Juvenile Court Act, 78a-6-1105 however, not all offenses can be expunged. For example, a juvenile court record with an adjudication of aggravated murder or murder may not be expunged.  See. U.S.C. Sec. 78-6a-1105(5).

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To qualify for expungement for juvenile offenses, a youth offender must meet certain criteria.   The offender is qualified to petition for expungement only if he or she is 18 years of age and at least one year has passed from the date the juvenile court terminated jurisdiction; or, if the youth was committed to a secure youth corrections facility, from the date of the youth’s release from the custody of the Division of Juvenile Justice Services. See Juvenile Court Act, 78a-6-1105.

A person petitioning for expungement of a juvenile court record must do the following:

  1.  Obtain a criminal history report from the Bureau of Criminal Identification and include the report with the petition.
  2.  The person must include in the petition agencies known or alleged to have documents related to the offense for which the person seeks expungement.
  3.  Send a copy of the petition to the county or district attorney, and a victim can request notice of such a petition.
  4.  It should be noted that a person may meet all of the above criteria and yet stillnotqualify for expungement. The petitioner must go before the court to demonstrate that expungement of his or her juvenile court record is appropriate.

See Juvenile Court Act, 78a-6-1105.

The court must determine whether the petitioner has been rehabilitated to the court’s satisfaction. The court takes into account:  (a) the petitioner’s response to programs and treatment, (b) behavior after adjudication, and (c) the nature and seriousness of the conduct.

The court may not grant the petition, if after the juvenile court terminates its jurisdiction or the person has been released from Juvenile Justice Services: (i) the petitioner has been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, or (ii) there is a felony or misdemeanor proceeding pending or being instituted against the person, or (iii) a judgment for restitution on the offense for which the expungement is sought remains unresolved.

If the court grants an expungement, the proceedings in the youth offender’s case are considered never to have happened.  See Juvenile Court Act, 78a-6-1105.

The process is complicated, and a youth offender may not qualify for expungement, or a court may deny the petition.  Contact and speak with our experienced attorneys with Stevens & Gailey, P.C. for a free consultation on how to proceed on your juvenile expungement.

Can I Expunge My Juvenile Criminal Record?

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