A juvenile record background check may be performed in the state of Delaware for a variety of reasons, particularly if the juvenile is looking to obtain employment in the state. Juveniles with a criminal background may find it more difficult to gain employment or other benefits once a background check has been performed if they are found to have convictions, but these charges can be expunged.
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An expungement is a clearing of a criminal record, and this can help a juvenile to gain opportunities that may not be open to him or her if they are found to have convictions on their record. For example, a juvenile with a shoplifting conviction may not be able to obtain a job in a retail establishment until their record is cleared, and juvenile records that go un-expunged may follow a juvenile into adulthood.
The process of expunging a juvenile record will often start with a petition, and if the petition is then granted by the court system, the file will be sealed. This means that these convictions will be inaccessible unless a person is convicted of another crime or they are applying for a job in law enforcement. In the state of Delaware, juvenile records are required to be expunged if:
- A misdemeanor charge was resolved in the person’s favor
- A felony charge was resolved in your favor
- A juvenile was found to be delinquent, has no subsequent offenses, and at least 3 years have passed since the conviction
Just as some records are able to be expunged, others may not qualify under certain circumstances. Juvenile records that may prove ineligible for expungement will include:
- Less than 1 year has elapsed since the closing of the case
- A person is found delinquent in a sex offense case
- A person was involved in a violent or sexually based felony case
Juvenile record expungement provides a clean criminal background that will prove beneficial to those receiving juvenile background checks, but it is always important for any parent of a juvenile who wishes to have their child’s record expunged to research if their charges or cases are eligible for expungement before filing a petition.
Who Performs Juvenile Background Checks in Delaware?
Employers, schools, law enforcement officials, probation officers, and many others can perform juvenile background checks in the state of Delaware and for a variety of different reasons.
For instance, if a young person decides to apply for admission into a Delaware college, the person in charge of admissions may perform a juvenile background check to investigate the young person’s criminal record. Depending on what they see, they may make the judgment to approve or deny the young person’s admission into the school.
Similarly, if an employer receives an application from a prospective employee, he or she may check their criminal record before deciding to hire the individual. If this person, even as an adult, had been charged with some type of delinquency on their juvenile criminal record, this will show during the background check process, and may effect a person’s likelihood for employment.
These background checks are not limited to people in a professional position, however, and with the internet anyone’s background may be investigated at any time by anyone. Un-expunged criminal charges may appear during these background checks, even if the now adult hasn’t had any current convictions, making it important that juveniles petition to have their criminal records sealed once they become eligible.
The Juvenile Justice System in Delaware
Because the juvenile justice system differs from the adult justice system in the state of Delaware, these crimes found on juvenile backgrounds will be deemed delinquencies or violations rather than misdemeanors or felonies. If a juvenile facing the juvenile justice system of Delaware is charged for a crime they have committed, they will be deemed a delinquent in the case and given an appropriate punishment. These delinquencies, as well as the punishments served, will show on juvenile criminal records, thereby making them visible to those performing background checks.
Harsher penalties will often allow those performing background checks to know that a harsher crime has been committed, and stays in juvenile detention centers are looked at particularly closely.
The Importance of a Lawyer in Expungement and Juvenile Criminal Records Cases
In order to have a juvenile criminal record expunged, or sealed, a person must file a petition and a bit of a process will then take place. This process is best performed when a lawyer is present who will represent the juvenile or adult that is wishing to have their criminal record sealed. Because criminal records are so accessible, and they are so frequently accessed, sealing a juvenile criminal record is often desired to give a person the best chance at a brighter future. Past mistakes will often haunt juveniles who do not get their records sealed, and these mistakes can prevent them from reaching their full potential later on.
Attorneys in the state of Delaware are able to help their clients to work through the entire expungement process in a way that will benefit their client in the long term. They will be able to perform filings and represent their client should any extenuating circumstances arise. Also, their vast knowledge of related laws will allow them to inform their clients if their criminal records are eligible or likely to receive expungement, providing them with the information needed to make the best decision on filing a petition.