Parents of children who have been processed through the juvenile criminal
justice system commonly worry about how a juvenile criminal record will
impact their child’s future. Juveniles too, as they come of legal
age and begin to become contributing members of society, also have concerns
about how a criminal record may impact their opportunities in life, including
their efforts to attend higher education, rent or purchase a home, and
obtain a job.
At The Hammer Law Firm, LLC, our St. Louis criminal defense lawyers have
helped many young clients and their parents after they were charged with
juvenile crimes. Aside from advocating aggressively on their behalves and fighting for
the best possible resolution, our team also takes the time to address
client concerns and how criminal records may impact juveniles in the future.
In Missouri, state law typically calls for most juvenile criminal records
to be hidden from public view. There are exceptions to this, especially
when a juvenile is charged with a serious offense or when they are tried
as an adult. In any situation, youth and their parents can still request
that courts seal, or expunge, court records. Once sealed, details of an
arrest, case, and conviction will be only viewable by court order. Juveniles
will also not have to disclose any information about a sealed juvenile
record to potential employers or others who may request this information.
Whether or not you or your child may be eligible to seal a juvenile record
will depend on the unique facts of your situation. Here are some details:
- You can request to seal a juvenile court record any time after the age
of 17, provided that a judge from the juvenile court determines that expunging
the record is in your best interests.
- For juvenile cases that may last beyond a juvenile’s 17 birthday,
you can request an expungement once the case is closed.
- In order to begin the process, you will need to file a motion in the juvenile
court where your case and charges were handled.
Sealing a juvenile record can be a challenging process, especially if the
crime was considered a serious offense, the juvenile has multiple cases
on their record, or if they were tried as adults, among other factors.
The process may also vary from County to County. Because of this, it is
important to work with experienced attorneys who can fully evaluate your
situation, determine your eligibility, and provide the representation
needed to effectively pursue an expungement.
Our legal team at The Hammer Law Firm, LLC believes that young people who
have completed their cases deserve every opportunity possible to put their
mistakes in the past and move forward without the consequences and challenges
that come with a criminal record. While many believe in second chances
for juveniles, there are still consequences to being charged with a crime.
In some cases, these consequences can be incredibly severe, such as the
controversial use of
life sentences in juvenile cases.
Because we believe strongly in ensuring that youth are treated fairly in
our criminal justice system, we provide zealous defense and support to
youth and their families after charges have been filed, and after cases
are completed and juveniles wish to seal their records. We are passionate
about helping clients navigate the legal process involved and are available
to discuss your situation personally to see how we may be able to help
you or your child.
For more information about juvenile crime charges or sealing a criminal record,
contact our firm for a FREE consultation.