WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO GET MY RECORDS SEALED?
To be eligible
your child must be 18 years old or 5 years must have passed from the
last arrest or discharge from probation. In addition most courts require a one year waiting period from the time you get off probation.
Doesn't my juvenile records get sealed automatically when I turn 18 years of age?
No. This is a myth. Records do not get sealed automatically when you turn 18 years of age.
The only mechanism to get your records sealed automatically is when you complete the terms and conditions of a plea agreement called DEJ, deferred entry of judgment. Not all offenses qualify for DEJ. For example, DEJ is not available to misdemeanor offenses.
If you were sentenced to home on probation, camp, suitable placement, or informal probation, your records are not sealed and you should seal your juvenile records as soon as possible.
ARE JUVENILE DELINQUENCY COURT PROCEEDINGS CONSIDERED CRIMINAL COURT PROCEEDINGS?
The answer is no even though a child can get incarcerated in a state prison at the California Youth Authority now known as DJJ. We use different language in the juvenile court system. In adult court, we call the charging document a criminal complaint. In juvenile court we call it a petition. In adult court, we enter a not guilty plea at the intial court date. In juvenile court, we enter a denial.
In juvenile court, an order adjudging a minor to be a ward of the juvenile court system shall not be deemed a conviction of a crime for any purpose, nor shall a proceeding in the juvenile court be deemed a criminal proceeding. (WIC 203). Yet, despite this language difference, we recommend getting your record sealed.
Corporate employers often are unable to distinguish the difference and if a juvenile criminal history turns up on a background check, that would likely result in a denial of a job or career opportunity.
Can I seal my juvenile records if I had a case at the Juvenile Traffic Court for a misdemeanor or infraction?
Yes. Most offenses that occur at the juvenile traffic court involve petty theft for less than $50.00 under penal code section 490.1, curfew violations, possession of marijuana pursuant to Health & Safety Code 11357(b), or alcohol, and vandalism cases pursuant to penal code section 594.
Traffic moving violations cannot be sealed.
Will the court appoint a lawyer for me to seal my records?
No. The court will not appoint a lawyer for you.
I AM CURRENTLY ON PROBATION IN ADULT COURT, CAN I GET MY PRIOR JUVENILE RECORD SEALED?
You will have to wait until you are no longer facing criminal charges and are off probation.
show you have been rehabilitated. In other words, your child has neither
had any recent contact with the police nor participated
in any further criminal activity. Thus even if the juvenile case is a very old case, the court will probably not seal your juvenile case if you are on probation on some unrelated case.
Most courts require a one year waiting period from the time the child has been off probation.
WHEN DO MY JUVENILE RECORDS GET DESTROYED NOW THAT THE COURT ORDERED MY RECORDS SEALED?
You records are immediately sealed when the judge grants your petition. The court further destroys the records when you turn 38 years of age.
MY CASE WAS DROPPED BY THE PROSECUTOR. DO I NEED TO GET MY RECORDS SEALED?
Even if your case was rejected for filing by the prosecutor or where your case had been resolved by the probation department or prosecutor without going to court, you may need to get your record sealed.
It has been reported that even cases that were never referred to the court may show up on your record. The best way to check to see what still shows up about your past delinquency is to get a live scan. As mentioned above, the cost to get a live scan is nominal, usually around $40.00 and you can get the results of the live scan within 7 days.
I COMMITTED A 707(B) OFFENSE, A SERIOUS FELONY WHEN I WAS A CHILD, CAN I GET MY RECORD SEALED?
Due to the passage of proposition 21 in the year 2000, certain offenses are no longer sealable.
The court shall not order the person's records sealed in any case in which the person has been found by the juvenile court to have committed an offense listed in subdivision (b) of Section 707 when he or she had attained 14 years of age or older.
However, for certain 707(b) offenses, the Law Offices of George Kita have been successful in getting the childs record sealed.
I AM APPLYING TO BECOME A MEDICAL DOCTOR OR A LAWYER, AND I COMMITTED A 707 OFFENSE AS A CHILD, IS THERE ANY HOPE?
Contact our office to discuss your case. Mr. Kita has successfully been able to get certain 707 charges sealed. Those clients have been able to go on to Medical School, Law School, and Nursing School. One of Mr. Kita's client was accepted by New York University Medical School, ranked top 9 in the United States. Another one of Mr. Kita's client was able to get licensed as a lawyer after graduating from Law School. A third client was able to graduate top of his class in nursing school and is now a license RN. These client had 707 offenses on their juvenile record and Mr. Kita was able to get their records sealed.
IS IT IMPORTANT TO GET MY RECORD SEALED?
California has the third highest unemployment rate in the nation. Don't let your past record affect your ability to obtain a job.
I WORK FOR A NONPROFIT AGENCY OR A GOVERNMENT AGENCY, CAN YOU COME OUT AND DO A PRESENTATION?
As part of our commitment to helping other agencies that deal with children, we do provide speaking engagements to various nonprofit organizations, labor unions, and government agencies concerning these issues. Our goal is to help as many individuals get gainful employment. Our office has led juvenile sealing workshops for the County of Los Angeles Juvenile Probation Department, LA County Juvenile Probation Camps, the City of Glendale, the SEIU 721, (Southern California Public Service Workers) and some of the leading nonprofit children's rights organizations.
RETAIN GEORGE KITA TO SEAL YOUR JUVENILE RECORDS.
The Law Offices of George Kita can help you get your record sealed. Call our office to retain Attorney George Kita.