Juvenile Theft and How It Can Affect the Future
Larceny is the intentional withholding of property belonging to someone else with no intention of giving it back. Convictions range from a misdemeanor to a felony based on the valued amount of the item or items taken. Many parents enter into panic mode upon hearing news that a child faces accusations of larceny. The reaction is justifiable as these charges can affect the entire future of the accused as such a stigma can severely stunt educational and employment opportunities. Your child’s future may be preserved if the appropriate action occurs quickly.
Is a juvenile record sealed or expunged at 18?
Many mistakenly believe that all criminal history before the age of 18 is automatically sealed and not visible to potential schools and employers. If the case in question was dropped or dismissed, the record erases immediately. However, if there is a conviction, a petition must be completed to have the incident “erased.” Sealing and expungement is not an option in these cases, but erasing will prevent everyone outside of a courtroom from seeing the record.
Does a conviction mean that college is not an option?
In most cases, even if you have a conviction on your juvenile record, the college or post-secondary university is not likely to deny you enrollment if you are otherwise qualified. However, in a highly competitive school, the history may play a factor.
Have you ever been convicted of a crime?
On many applications, the question, “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” will stump those who have an incident as a minor. A criminal conviction is not the same as a juvenile adjudication. Although adjudication does mean that the court found you guilty, it is a status. “No” is still an acceptable answer as a criminal conviction pertains to the adult equivalent of guilty. If the question asks about being adjudicated delinquent, the truthful answer is “yes.” The same goes for FASFA applications.
Can I enlist in the military with a juvenile record?
Having a record does not immediately disqualify you from all branches of the military. However, recruiters can see even erased records. The military is a federal program and therefore runs by its regulations. During the enlistment process, a background check is completed to determine “moral fitness.” Having a record sometimes can be the reason an individual is denied admittance into the armed services.
How do I prevent a negative impact?
The best course of action is to intervene in the legal process and not just let the system run its course. It is important to seek legal counsel to decrease the likelihood of a conviction. Remember, if a case is dropped or dismissed, the record is wiped clean at 18 years of age. However, even with a conviction, there are various levels of severity when it comes to larceny, ranging from misdemeanor to felony. A reduction of charges may be possible dependant on the circumstances surrounding the case. If you are interested in discussing your options with a Stamford, CT juvenile defense attorney, contact the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner today by calling 203-348-5846 to schedule your initial free consultation.