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The Debate on Sealed Criminal Records for Minors

Posted By : Alisha Wood | Date : 08-31-2016

Sealing juvenile records may often be more complicated than expungements of records later in life. In order to be a candidate for having juvenile records sealed, one must be 18 years old and have waited 5 years since his or her case had closed, probation ended and the judge deemed him or her rehabilitated. While it may not be an easy feat, it can be very worth it for adults whose juvenile record may be preventing them from seeking education or employment.

However ideal sealing records may sound for those with a juvenile record, this subject is not without heavy debate. The legal question of keeping records from public access and restricting visibility of criminal cases can be detrimental to society on a larger level. Both sides of this argument have merit, though for now the law stands in support of giving the opportunity to seal juvenile records.

Do sealed records help or hurt the individual?

When considering the livelihood of the individual trying to have his or her records sealed, it is typically considered positive for the sake of the best opportunities in the future. With public records, individuals who have committed juvenile crimes must disclose such on all job applications, school applications and for any certifications they wish to obtain. This can work negatively against applicants, especially when compared to those without records holding them back.

It is often difficult for anyone who has become a part of the prison and justice system to be released from its grips, as there is little opportunity for restoring one’s position in society. Sealing juvenile records can be a step in the right direction for starting over with a clean slate and pursuing opportunities not exclusively curated for former criminals.

Do sealed records help or hurt society as a whole?

This question is one that stirs up the heat of the sealed juvenile records debate. One side asserts that sealed records could violate the public’s right to the open administration of justice, and that it could impede on the media’s place in keeping courts, police officers and prosecutors accountable in particular cases. It can be very restrictive to the administration of justice to have records sealed.

However, the other side of the debate insists that sealing records, while maybe causing some inconvenience to media members, would be beneficial for both the former criminal and the society. It would provide a means for people to continue to break the chains of a juvenile record while allowing media sources to continue to access records through petitions and court releases.

Both sides make relevant points about sealed records, but as advocates for sealing a minor’s record in certain cases, it is important to continue discussing such cases and ensuring the future legislation provides help to both the public and those wishing to seal their records.

Your Juvenile Records

If you have juvenile records and wish to learn whether you are eligible for appealing for their sealing, we can help you. Call the Law Offices of Alisha A. Wood today to find out how you can improve the direction of your future: (619) 356-2249.

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