What Happens to Juvenile Court Records?

What Happens to a Juvenile Court Record Once the Minor Turns 18?

The juvenile justice system in Virginia is very different than the adult criminal justice system. The terms are different, the processes are different and even the number of people and agencies involved is more complex. We always say it’s important to have an attorney with significant experience in the juvenile justice system, because it just operates differently.

For example, in the adult courts, a person is sentenced when they are found guilty. In the juvenile courts in Virginia, a minor is found delinquent and there is a disposition. That can include detention (vs. jail) and aftercare (vs. probation).

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A concern for many teens and their parents is what happens to the juvenile court record once the minor becomes an adult? In most cases, records are destroyed once the minor turns 19 and at least five years have passed since the final hearing. One major difference is if the minor has committed a crime that would be a felony if they were an adult. In that case, the records remain public.

This is often a surprise to parents who assume any crime as a minor is no longer an issue once their son or daughter becomes an adult. There are other cases where a juvenile crime can leave lasting records as well.

When the records of a case are destroyed, it’s known as expungement. If the criminal case is dismissed or the minor is found “not guilty” we can ask to have records destroyed immediately. Once records are destroyed, the issue is treated as if it never occurred.

There are many opportunities to have a positive impact on a criminal charge against a minor, before the case even goes to court. At JRLaw, PLC, attorney Jerrell Johnson uses his years of experience and knowledge of the juvenile criminal justice system to pursue the best possible outcome for his clients. No matter where you are in the process, if your son or daughter is being questioned by the police or has been arrested or even issued a citation, please don’t wait.

Call JRLaw, PLC at (757) 447-0080 for a no-obligation, no-charge consultation about your case, or contact us online to put over a decade of experience on your side. We extend our legal services to residents throughout Newport, Hampton, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Norfolk and Poquoson.

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  • Traffic Violations Hampton District: Misdemeanor Reckless Driving
  • Felony Virginia Beach Juvenile: Domestic Assault
  • Felony Virginia Beach Juvenile: Domestic Assault & CPS case for Child Abuse
  • Felony Newport News District: Threaten to Harm and Curse and Abuse
  • Traffic Violations Northampton County: Misdemeanor Reckless Driving
  • Traffic Violations Sussex County: Reckless Driving
  • Norfolk District: Disorderly Conduct Dismissed
  • Misdemeanor Virginia Beach District: ASAP Show Cause
  • Misdemeanor Virginia Beach District: Class 1 Misdemeanor Animal Cruelty
  • Felony Virginia Beach District: Drunk in Public
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