Sealing or Expunging Juveline Records in San Antonio, TX

There is a belief that all Texas juvenile criminal records are automatically sealed once the juvenile reaches either age 18 or 21. This is not accurate, for a record to be sealed or expunged, a petition must be filed with the courts unless the crime is covered under the Automatic Restriction of Access to Records (ARAR) process.

Records Eligible for Sealing or Expungement

Any minor who was arrested while the age of 10 to 17 will have to file a formal request to have their records sealed when they reach the age of 21. Anyone who faced charges of a Class A or B misdemeanor or any felony, is eligible for record sealing unless they were given a determinate sentence, were found guilty of a sex crime or an aggravated felony.

To have a minor’s record expunged, they must be at least age 17, and must not have been convicted of more than one offense that was punished through payment of a fine. In both cases, expungements and record sealings are handled through the courts and should be done with the assistance of an attorney who understands the process.

 

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Don’t let a juvenile criminal record jeopordize your future.

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Having a criminal record can reduce your chance of getting a job offer by 50%.1  Expunging your record can help you get the job you deserve, the home you want to rent, or the education you seek. Find out if you’re eligible to have your record expunged by calling us our taking our free online eligibility test.

1. Binyamin Applebaum. Out of Trouble, but Criminal Records Keep Men Out of Work, NYTimes.com, February 28, 2015.

Be Aware of Automatic Restriction of Juvenile Records

Juvenile offenders may also benefit through a process called Automatic Restriction of Access to Records (ARAR). This means a juvenile who was charged prior to age 17, may have their record access restricted to all but criminal justice agencies once they reach age 21. There are certain criteria which must be met which includes:

  • Crime was not a felony, or a Class A or B misdemeanor
  • Deferred adjudication was not part of the sentencing
  • Juvenile was not charged as an adult
  • Juvenile was not involved in gang activity

Before you fill out any forms that ask you about a criminal record, if you faced charges while you were under age 17, contact an attorney and find out what your rights and responsibilities are. In many cases, you may be able to claim you have no record.

When Juvenile Records Can be Sealed

You can have your record sealed permanently if the following conditions are met:

  • Misdemeanor sealing – it has been at least two years since the resolution of the charges, you have not received an additional conviction and you are not facing any current charges.
  • Felony sealing – assuming you were tried in juvenile court, are currently 19 years or older, have not committed another felony since age 17, and your record was not used in another criminal case then the record may be sealed.

Failing to be aware whether your record is still public or not can be devastating as a criminal record can prevent you from being accepted to college, impact your employment opportunities and potentially impact your ability to secure your first apartment. We can help verify the status of your juvenile record and if necessary, help you with the expungement or sealing process. Contact our San Antonio, TX Law Office for help with record expunging or sealing. We can help you reclaim your future free from the burden of mistakes you made as a juvenile.

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