Sealing of a criminal record is sometimes known as expungement, or the legal process by which the record is treated as if it no longer exists. The options for and limits to expungement differ by area, but all jurisdictions allow it for many juvenile offenses. Read on to learn more about criminal record expungement.
Is a Defendant’s Juvenile Record Automatically Wiped Out?
Depending on jurisdiction, a person’s juvenile record may be expunged automatically. However, even in these cases, the records are only erased if the person stays out of trouble for a certain time after reaching the age of majority. Most areas have no automatic process, and they require the offender and an expungement attorney in Burlington VT to file a motion.
Who is Eligible?
Whether a person is qualified for expungement depends on state law. As mentioned here, courts may simply erase the record as a matter of course. However, in many areas, the person would need to meet certain qualifications as listed below.
A certain period has passed since plea or conviction terms were completed
Whether the person received parole, probation or a prison sentence
The nature of the offense
Can a Juvenile Record be Used Against an Adult?
Expungement is a misnomer. In its strictest definition, it means a complete removal. However, in criminal law, it means that the record is removed from the public view, but not from that of law enforcement. Expunging a record does not make it disappear from the view of prosecutors, courts or police. Therefore, it’s possible for a juvenile offense to be used against an older offender. People in this situation could benefit from an expungement attorney’s experience.
Hiring an Attorney for Expungement Help
If a person’s record is expunged automatically, they likely do not need Jason J. Sawyer, Attorney & Counselor At Law unless they face prosecution and the record may be used against them. For most people, record sealing isn’t automatic. A defendant should talk to an expungement attorney in Burlington VT to find out how records are concealed. An attorney can ensure that all appropriate steps are taken to correctly expunge the person’s record.