Many people are under the assumption that juvenile criminal records are confidential and that this means that they are not subject to release for any reason. While juvenile records are confidential in Louisiana, they are eligible for disclosure under a number of conditions. Expungement of your juvenile record is the best way to ensure that no one unduly holds a past mistake against you.
Confidential versus expunged
The status of juvenile criminal records as confidential means that they receive more protection from release than standard records, but that protection comes with several qualifications. Agencies involved in the treatment of the person may share documents with one another, and courts must review the need for access to any court-related documents before release. On the other hand, expungement means that the court removes any trace of the juvenile record.
Paths to expungement
When considering an expungement, it’s in your best interest to meet with an experienced criminal defense attorney, particularly one who works with juveniles. Several aspects may affect you or your loved one’s ability to expunge certain records. In all cases, you must be 17 years old before you can apply for an expungement.
For cases with no adjudication of delinquency, no additional requirements exist. For misdemeanor adjudication, two years must have passed. For felony adjudications, the court must not have found the juvenile delinquent for murder, kidnapping, manslaughter, sex crimes or robbery, and a total of five years must pass from the adjudication. Furthermore, no adult felonies or crimes involving a weapon can exist, and no currently open indictments can be on the record.
As with all serious matters, consulting with an attorney is your best bet to ensure that you protect your interests.