Now that we have gone through some sealing law basics. What are the laws that pertain to juvenile records where there was an adjudication?!
If you have been adjudicated as a juvenile, your record is open to the public from the beginning of your case until it is sealed by the court. This is why it is SO important to seal you record once your case has closed.
If you have been adjudicated what needs to happen is you need to complete probation satisfactorily. Once you have completed probation satisfactorily or done whatever you were ordered to do, then the sealing process should be initiated if you are over the age of 17
What happens if the judge does not initiate the process, or you are under the age of 17? Then you, your parent, or your guardian need to initiate the process. You can do this by filing a Motion to Seal a Juvenile Record.
Once the sealing process has been initiated then there is generally a 30-day waiting period. This period gives the county attorney the opportunity to object to the sealing. If they do not object, an Order will be sent to those who have court records of your case ordering them to seal it.
If the county attorney objects to your sealing then a hearing date will be set. At the hearing, the county attorney will present evidence as to why they believe your case should not be sealed. You will be given the opportunity to present evidence as to why you believe your case should be sealed. The judge will then decide to either seal or not seal the case. If they seal the case the same process would happen, an order would be sent out to anyone who had court record ordering them to seal the case. However, if they decide to not seal your record will remain open to the public. This does not mean your juvenile record will always be open to the public. You can come back in a year, file the same motion, and request to seal your juvenile record again.
This process may sound simple, but it is more complicated than you would think so if possible speak to an attorney before you initiate the process!
You can always see if you qualify for the Juvenile Reentry Project! Give them a call at 402-487-7005.