Juvenile crimes are offenses committed by people who are under the age of 18. There is common misconception that someone’s juvenile criminal record is expunged once they turn 18 and that their juvenile criminal record cannot be used against them once they are adults. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. Juvenile criminal charges should not be taken lightly.
First of all, juveniles can be charged as adults for certain serious criminal charges and these charges will remain on that persons criminal record throughout their adult life. Additionally, someone’s juvenile criminal record is not automatically expunged when they turn 18. A person’s juvenile criminal record will be expunged at the earliest on their 24th birthday, assuming they have not been convicted of a separate crime as an adult prior to their 24th birthday. This of course can create many hardships for young adults as it will appear on their criminal history when a criminal background check is conducted. Such hardships include but are not limited to getting accepted into a college, finding a job, renting an apartment, or enlisting in the military.
Further, a person’s juvenile criminal history can also be used as a prior crime in the adult system to lengthen the prison sentence of an adult felony charge or enhance an adult charge. With that said, please keep in mind that the Juvenile system does offer many more opportunities for rehabilitation, diversionary type programs and more lenient alternatives than the adult system. So it is extremely important that you contact an attorney that handles juvenile law before resolving a juvenile criminal matter.
If you or your friend or family member is a juvenile facing criminal charges, please give me a call at 941-954-3400 for your free consultation.
Thank you and I look forward to speaking with you.