Parents whose children have been arrested and convicted of a crime are rightly concerned about their child’s criminal record. Juvenile records in Texas are not confidential, and they are not automatically sealed when the child turns 18 years of age. Because a record isn’t sealed, it can be read by law enforcement agencies, probation officers, prospective employers, education institutions, and landlords. However, some juvenile offenders can seal their own records.
To get your child’s records sealed, you need to ask the court to seal his or her case. The court you need to ask is the one where the original criminal proceedings were handled. A child who qualifies must have been between the ages of 10 and 17 when he or she was arrested and charged.
However, not all records can be sealed. If your child received a determinate sentence, or a sentence that is definite and not subject to review by a parole board or other agency, the records cannot be sealed. Sealing is also discretionary by the court, meaning the court doesn’t have to seal the record.
If the court does decide to grant a record seal, the offense may also be eligible to be expunged. You or your child can petition the court to order the destruction of any sealed juvenile record if the case meets the following requirements:
- Your child’s record doesn’t involve a felony or misdemeanor for which jail time could have been given
- At least 5 years have passed since your child’s 16th birthday
- Your child has not been convicted of a felony
If you need help determining if your child’s record can be sealed, talk to one of our skilled Addison juvenile crimes attorneys. Scott H. Palmer, P.C. is a firm dedicated to providing aggressive and knowledgeable representation to all our clients. Let us see what we can do for you.
Contact us at (214) 891-3382 or fill out our online form to schedule a case consultation today.