Not everyone makes good decisions during their youth. In fact, some Salt Lake City residents may engage in activities that result in them having juvenile criminal records before they even reach the age of 18. A juvenile criminal record is like an adult criminal record in that it provides an account of the criminal activity for which an individual was convicted. In some cases, the information contained in a juvenile criminal record can be used to inhibit a person’s educational or professional advancement as he or she transitions into adulthood.
In Utah, a juvenile criminal record may be expunged under some circumstances. Having one’s juvenile criminal record expunged does not make the record disappear. What expungement provides is the opportunity to have the record sealed and made inaccessible to many individuals who may inquire about its contents.
A person who has a juvenile criminal record can petition to have it sealed after he turns 18. He must also be fully released from the jurisdiction of the juvenile criminal justice system in order for the record to be expunged. However, not every juvenile criminal record can be expunged. If an individual was convicted of murder, or convicted of a crime as an adult, then his record may not be sealed.
If an individual successfully has his juvenile criminal record sealed then it is effectively inaccessible to third parties. Though the record would still exist, a government body would not acknowledge its existence if inquiries were made by the record holder’s educational institutions, employers, or other third parties, though law enforcement and courts may still have access.
There are many benefits to having one’s juvenile criminal record expunged. Criminal defense attorneys who include in their legal practices the defense of juvenile offenses may be good resources for those individuals who wish to learn more about having their records sealed.