New Orleans Juvenile Expungement Lawyer
Everyone makes mistakes when they are young. Unfortunately, some mistakes may land a teenager or youth before a Louisiana juvenile court judge. The juvenile courts have jurisdiction over persons between the ages of 10 and 17 accused of “delinquent offenses,” which are akin to crimes tried in adult courts.
It is, however, possible to have most juvenile court proceedings sealed through a process known as expungement. If a person’s juvenile record is expunged, they do not have to disclose the record of their arrest or juvenile delinquency adjudication in most cases, such as when applying for a job or a bank loan. A skilled lawyer can assist you or your child in this process. Attorney Robert S. Toale has more than three decades of experience in practicing before the Louisiana courts, and he can advise you on whether your case is eligible for a juvenile expungement.
Which Juvenile Offenses Can Be Expunged?
Juvenile courts do not find someone “guilty” of a crime. Instead, the juvenile court will make an “adjudication,” which is basically a decision that the juvenile committed an illegal act. As with the adult courts, an adjudication can be for either a misdemeanor or felony charge.
Under Louisiana law, if a charge did not result in an adjudication–i.e., the case was dismissed or the judge decided the juvenile did not commit the alleged act–the record of the case may be expunged at any time. If the charge did result in a misdemeanor adjudication, however, the juvenile can still generally seek an expungement after the case is closed or dismissed.
If a juvenile case resulted in a felony adjudication–e.g., murder, manslaughter, armed robbery, and sex offenses requiring registration as a sex offender–a person may only seek expungement under the following conditions:
- At least 5 years have passed since the person satisfied their most recent judgment against them.
- The person has no convictions in adult criminal court for a felony charge, and no misdemeanor convictions for an offense involving a firearm.
- There is no indictment or criminal information currently pending against the person.
Even when a person is eligible for a juvenile expungement, the process is not automatic. It is up to the juvenile to file the necessary motion with the court to request an expungement. Sometimes the court will grant expungement without any additional proceedings. But in many cases the government will file an objection, which means a judge will need to hold a hearing.
Contact the Law Office of Robert S. Toale Today
Expunging a juvenile record is often quite beneficial to the recipient. It means not having to disclose a juvenile arrest or adjudication to a prospective employer or landlord. And in general it can mean a fresh start free of the burden of being permanently labeled a juvenile delinquent. So if you do have a juvenile record, it is in your best interest to pursue an expungement when available.
If you need to speak with an experienced New Orleans juvenile expungement lawyer, contact the Law Office of Robert S. Toale today to schedule a consultation.