When your son or daughter was arrested as a juvenile, it’s understandable to feel a bit worried for their future. This is especially true when it comes to job aspects or other applications that require a criminal background check. After an arrest and conviction, whether for a misdemeanor or a felony as a juvenile, it’s important to understand some of the challenges and barriers that your child may face when looking for a job.
As the leading juvenile criminal defense lawyer in Raleigh, NC, attorney Dewey P. Brinkley boasts years of experience representing juveniles. As a diligent and knowledgeable defense attorney, we can provide a rigorous defense following an arrest; after a conviction, however, we can help with criminal record expungements as well. For a free, no-obligation consultation with our Raleigh law firm, call us today at (919) 832-0307.
Does My Child Have to Disclose a Juvenile Arrest?
In North Carolina, the juvenile code typically limits access to juvenile records by public and state entities, and there is little opportunity for future employers or colleges to access these records. Under certain circumstances, however, others may be able to access your child’s juvenile records.
Furthermore, the disposition of a juvenile case (in legalese, “disposition” essentially refers to the court’s decision of a case) is known as an adjudication, and not a
conviction. As such, if the job application asks whether the applicant was convicted of a crime, you are telling the truth by saying “No.”
According to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-3000, a juvenile’s record (which contains all documents or information referring to arrests, complaints, referrals, juvenile petitions, and orders) is generally confidential. There are some exceptions to this confidentiality, including:
- Probation officers and prosecutors may share information with other law enforcement individuals
- Court counselors and prosecutors may access your child’s record
- The child’s school principal can access the child’s record (the principal must be notified if the child was adjudicated for an act that would be a felony)
- Specific agencies can access the child’s record, such as agencies investigating child abuse or neglect
- The child’s attorney, his/her parents, and the child him/herself can access the records
- The juvenile record can be disclosed under court order
Expunging or Sealing a Juvenile Court Record
Even if the juvenile record is confidential in North Carolina, it still exists. This can bring some anxiety for both the child and his/her parents. Fortunately, North Carolina law understands that juveniles sometimes make mistakes.
When “removing” these records from the child’s file, there are two options: sealing and expungement. In terms of sealing, it is the juvenile court judge who has the authority to seal records at the time of the court proceedings.
For maximum confidentiality, the child can have his/her records expunged after turning 18. An expunged record functions as if it doesn’t exist, and the child is never required to disclose information about the expunged juvenile record (except in very specific, rare circumstances).
To expunge your child’s record, he/she he may file a petition for expungement in the court of his or her adjudication.
There are some exceptions to expungement, however. If the child was arrested for Class A, B1, B2, C, D, or E felonies, and the child was charged as an adult, then he/she may be unable to expunge those records.
Call the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley
If your child was arrested for a crime and adjudicated in juvenile court, then he/she may be able to expunge his/her juvenile records at the appropriate time. At the time of arrest, however, you can always benefit by having an experienced and competent juvenile defense attorney. At the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley in Raleigh, NC, we’ve successfully defended numerous juveniles for a wide variety of alleged offenses, and we can also help with your record expungement as well.
For a free, no-obligation consultation with attorney Brinkley, call our Raleigh law firm today at (919) 832-0307.