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For juveniles who have been in trouble with the law, the new laws in 2018 will be of help. Several new laws went into effect on January 1, 2018 that will benefit minors who committed crimes while they were teens.

Under a new law—Assembly Bill 529—a person under 18 who commits a crime is a ward of the juvenile court. Once a juvenile completes a diversion program, records will be sealed for dismissed juvenile court petitions. This pertains to all petitions in the custody of the juvenile court, probation department, law enforcement agencies and the Department of Justice. In addition, a judge will have the authority to seal juvenile records once the sentence has been completed—even when the juvenile committed serious or violent offenses.

Successful completion of a diversion program is defined as fulfillment of an informal supervision program or probation. During the time the juvenile is in the diversion program, he or she cannot be convicted for a morally offensive misdemeanor or felony.

Gov. Jerry Brown approved the law in October 2017. The bill, which amends Section 786 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, has additional changes. Once a charge has been dismissed, the counties would be required to seal the juvenile records. Once the record has been sealed by the court, the prosecutor has up to six months to petition the court to access the sealed record based on new circumstances. First, though, the court must determine whether the prosecutor has provided sufficient justification to access the sealed record and therefore refile the dismissed petition.

The new law also requires appropriate notification.The probation department is required to notify the juvenile in writing that the records have been sealed. If the records were not able to be sealed for any reason, the juvenile must also be notified in writing as to the reasons why. Under the law, the juvenile will be allowed to petition the court to review the decision.

Probation departments will have limited access to sealed records under these provisions. The law imposes new duties on probation departments in regards to to sealing juvenile records, which makes it a state-mandated program.

What Does Record Sealing Do?

The process varies from state to state, but record sealing may involve an actual sealing of criminal records, while some jurisdictions destroy the records. Once the records are sealed, they are no longer made available to the public. In addition, the person who committed the crime has the legal right to deny that the arrest never occurred.

This is helpful for those who committed a crime during their teen years and want to move on with their life. By having their records sealed, they do not have to disclose their crime on job applications and rental applications.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney Today

This law is great news for juveniles who made mistakes when they were younger and have since rectified the situation. There’s no reason why a person should have to live with their mistakes for the rest of their life.

If you’re interested in sealing your criminal records, seek legal help. The criminal defense lawyers at Manshoory Law Group, APC can protect your future. To schedule a free case review, contact the team at Manshoory Law Group, APC today at (877) 977-7750.

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