As kids, we all make mistakes. Some mistakes land juveniles in trouble with the law. Fortunately, with the right qualifications, Indiana’s Second Chance Law may allow you to seal your juvenile arrest and criminal records, even if you were ultimately found guilty of the charge. Continue below to learn how to confirm your eligibility for juvenile criminal record sealing, plus how to get started if you believe you meet the prerequisites for qualification.
Juvenile Record Sealing Stipulations
In order to qualify to seal your juvenile criminal records, you must meet certain, state-specified criteria. Criteria will include age, type of offense, time passed since the offense, and adult criminal records. Although such requirements vary among states, they are generally across the board with these before-mentioned factors.
Age and Time Passed Since Your Offense
Here in Indiana, you must be at least 18 years old to petition for juvenile record sealing. This means that juveniles, which are people under the age of 18 years old, cannot petition for record sealing. In addition to your age, eligibility largely depends on the amount of time that has passed since the date of the offense or subsequent charge. Some states allow petitioners to file for record sealing as soon as 30 days after their 18th birthday. Other states require a set time limit, typically 3 to 5 years since the date of the offense.
Type of Crime or Charge
Juveniles can be guilty of all sorts of infractions and offenses. The more serious ones may not qualify for record sealing, such as homicide, sexual assault, murder, and similar egregious federal-level crimes. Lesser offenses, like underage drinking, driving without a license, truancy, drug possession, shoplifting, running away, and similar common teenage wrongdoings, generally qualify for juvenile record sealing.
Adult Criminal Records
Not only must you be an adult, 18 years old or older, to petition for juvenile record sealing, but you must also be an adult with a clear adult criminal record. Perhaps one isolated or minor offense as an adult might not affect your eligibility, but more serious and certainly habitual offenses will cause your petition to be denied.
How to Get Started with Juvenile Record Sealing
To file for juvenile record sealing, you must complete a series of complicated paperwork, which will require you to locate and submit additional, relevant documents, plus pay a fee. And just one mistake on your petition, or a missed filing deadline, will cause your petition to be denied. After that happens, you are no longer eligible to file again. For these reasons and more, it is necessary to hire a licensed criminal defense attorney who specializes in expungement and record sealing services. They will ensure your petition is navigated properly.
Are you ready to get started on your Indiana juvenile record sealing petition? Contact us at 317-636-7514 to schedule a free consultation for criminal record expungement in Indianapolis, and be one step closer to better and brighter future.
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