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Are Juvenile Records Public or Can They be Expunged?

RemA lawyer discusses options to have a juvenile record expunged for a young man.

Originally posted on 12/06/2019

There is something in most people’s life they regret - if they could redo a moment, they would have done it better. Although there is no physical way to erase the past or redo past wrongs, there is a legal way to prevent some of the crimes of your youth from following you forever. Adults can get a new start by having their juvenile records expunged or sealed. 

Expungement can end up making your life better. Having your juvenile records expunged means they are no longer publically available. Barring this information from the public allows you to not report your arrest or conviction to employers, landlords, and more. However, if you are wondering who can see your expunged records, look no further than the courts. Judges and law enforcement can still use your records, even expunged records, against you under such policies as the “Three Strike” statute. 

Keep reading this post to learn more about having your juvenile records expunged.

Are you Eligible to Have Your Juvenile Records Removed from the Public Record?

The following are the general requirements for sealing or expunging juvenile records. 

  • Age - To request to have your records sealed, you must be an adult. In other words, you must be over 18.
  • Timing of the Offense - In Michigan, juveniles need to 1) wait at least one year after a judge’s decision on a case, 2) allow at least one year to pass after leaving a detention facility, 3) have turned 18. (Mich. Comp. Laws § 712A.18e(3).)*
  • Type of Offense - People need to have no more than three juvenile convictions with no felony convictions to have the three offenses expunged. Or they may have convictions for what would have been two misdemeanors and one felony if had been an adult when they committed the offense. (Mich. Comp. Laws § 712A.18e.)*

*Learn more about these rules by reading Michigan’s juvenile records expungement factsheet

Situations that Disqualify You from Sealing Your Juvenile Records

The court system will not clear a juvenile record if any of the following conditions occur. 

  • Your record includes adjudication for murder
  • You have been convicted as an adult of a misdemeanor connected to moral turpitude or a felony
  • You have a pending case of an adult felony or misdemeanor
  • You have not paid restitution

How to Get Your Juvenile Record Sealed

You will need to do the following to begin the process of sealing your juvenile record.

  • File a Petition - You will need to file an official petition for the court where the offense occurred. This process may be confusing - be sure to get it right by having an experienced attorney review the petition with you. 
  • Pay a Fee - You will typically need to pay a fee associated with the process. 

Get Help Expunging Your Juvenile Record

Having a legal professional on your side can help smooth and even speed up the process of having your juvenile records expunged. The experienced attorneys at Aldrich Legal Services have been helping Michigan residents with the legal representation they need for over 21 years. We can lend you our years of experience and legal expertise to help you start over again without the mistakes of your youth preventing you from being successful. 

Give the team at Aldrich Legal Services a call today to talk through your legal options. 

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