Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Effects Of A Juvenile "Conviction" On Your Child

The saying goes, “Everyone makes mistakes, right?” So will your child’s juvenile mistake haunt them the rest of their lives? Generally speaking: No.

The Juvenile Justice System is different from the adult system in that the goal of juvenile court is to rehabilitate the Minor; whereas in adult court the purpose is punishment. As such, all juvenile proceedings are closed, and private (not open to the public- as in Adult court).

In juvenile court a “Conviction” is not called a conviction- it is referred to as a “sustained petition.” Therefore, when asked on a job application or college application “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” Your child is able to mark NO. This is because, technically, they have not been “convicted of a crime.” They may have a “Sustained Petition,” but it is not considered a conviction. To go one step further, after a certain amount of time; you will want to get your child’s record “Sealed” (This procedure prevents anyone from seeing your child’s file unless they have a court order). The hope is for the minor to enter the adult world with a clean slate, without the negative effects of a “criminal record” following them around.

To be clear: certain government agencies will be able to see your child’s arrest in juvenile court, but a standard background check by private sector employers will not show the juvenile “conviction.”

This information applies to all crimes including serious & violent crimes (“strike offenses”). However, if your child commits another crime down the road, there are certain crimes that are “priorable” (such as a strike offense) and could affect the maximum amount of prison exposure time.

Juvenile Law Updates- Criminal Defense Law Offices of Katie Walsh 714 619-9355

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