Everyone makes mistakes that he or she regrets, including committing crimes as a teenager. If you have a crime on your record, it can hold you back as you get older and prevent you from getting into college, serving in the military, or pursuing a career as a police officer or firefighter. If you want to make sure your juvenile record is expunged, a criminal defense attorney in Clackamas, OR can help you.
Why Get Record Expunged?
If you’ve made a mistake as a juvenile, which is anyone under 18, by shoplifting, being charged with drug possession, or getting into a fist fight, it can stay with you if the record is not expunged or sealed. In Oregon, juvenile criminal records are a matter of public record if they have not been expunged. Unlike what you see on many TV shows, juvenile records are not automatically sealed when you turn 18.
What can Be Expunged?
Not every criminal record can be expunged, but if you committed a misdemeanor, a Class C felony, or a felony that was treated like a misdemeanor, then a criminal defense attorney may be able to get your record expunged. However, traffic violations including DUIs, Class A or B felonies, sex crimes, and crimes involving child abuse are not eligible for expungement.
Sealed or Destroyed
Your criminal defense attorney may ask if you want your record sealed or permanently destroyed. When the petition goes to the judge, a request has to be made to destroy your record and then the judge will decide whether to do so. If you don’t want to take the risk of your record being found, you can request that it be destroyed.
After your record is sealed, no one will be able to request it and there are penalties for releasing any information from a sealed record.