As a parent in Normandy Park, it goes without saying that you want what is best for your kids. That includes them having no barriers to their future success. Unfortunately, as many of our past clients here at Kurt Bennett Attorneys can attest to, a juvenile criminal conviction can place such barriers in their paths.
Some might try to tell you that the moment your teen reaches the age of majority, any criminal convictions on their records are automatically expunged. Yet that is not the case. That does not necessarily mean, however, that a conviction as a minor will continue to haunt them as an adult. You simply need to understand the process of how to properly manage their public records.
Understanding juvenile records
First and foremost, you need to understand exactly which of their records become available for public review. According to the Washington State Legislature, any juvenile criminal conviction involves three official records:
- A juvenile court file
- A social file
- A juvenile justice record
Juvenile justice records contain the details of any dealings your child has with any state agencies. Your child’s social file details their work with probation counselors. Both of these records remain confidential. Their juvenile court file (which contains information court records and rulings related to your child’s case) is available for review through a public records search.
Having a juvenile court file sealed
You can seek to have your child’s juvenile court file sealed if they qualify for this benefit. To qualify, they cannot have any criminal records pending against them (or any pending diversion agreements). They cannot owe any pending restitution, either. The law also does not allow records of certain sex offenses sealed, either. There are also additional qualifications for juvenile felony convictions.
You can find more information on dealing with a criminal record throughout our site.