The Law Offices of Jarrod M. Wilfert, one of the most popular questions our
Ventura juvenile criminal defense attorney receives from our clients is, “Are juvenile records automatically
sealed upon turning 18 years of age?”
The simple answer is, “No.” A special petition must be filed
in the juvenile court to have them sealed.
It is important to know that when your records are sealed, the records
of the arrest, detention, prosecution, and conviction are inaccessible
to prospective employers, state licensing agencies, landlords, lenders,
and school officials. It will appear as if the offense has never occurred
and you can start adulthood on a “clean” slate.
You may be eligible to have your juvenile record sealed if all of the following are true:
- You are 18 or older, or five years have passed since the jurisdiction of
the juvenile court terminated.
- You have not been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral
turpitude (dishonesty or conduct that shocks the public conscience) as an adult.
- You were not convicted in juvenile court of one of a select list of specific
serious offenses (such as murder, sexual assault, or robbery) committed
after you turned 14 years old.
The process of sealing your California juvenile record takes—on average—eight
to ten months. You file your petition in the California juvenile court
in the county in which you were most recently convicted.
In most cases, an experienced
criminal defense lawyer can appear on your behalf. However, the judge may choose to interview
you in person.
As soon as your attorney files the petition, the judge sets a hearing date.
At the hearing, the judge reviews your petition and any evidence presented
by you, the local county’s Department of Probation, the District
Attorney, or anyone else that has relevant information.
To help ensure that your petition is granted the first time around, it
is wise to schedule a
free consultation with our Ventura criminal defense attorney today.