Juvenile records exist for any individuals who were referred to juvenile court in Texas for any conduct that occurred while they were under the age of 17, such as delinquent conduct, conduct indicating a need for supervision, offenses that would not be illegal if they were adults, and other criminal offenses. These records are restricted, meaning that they only may be released in very limited circumstances, such as to criminal justice agencies for certain purposes.
You can seal juvenile records, meaning that they cannot be accessed without a court order, in different circumstances. If you were referred to juvenile court for conduct indicating a need for supervision only, and not delinquent conduct, your records are automatically sealed at age 18, unless you have an adult felony conviction or pending felony charges at that time. If you were referred to juvenile court for delinquent conduct, but you were never were adjudicated or found guilty, or you were adjudicated for only a misdemeanor, your records are automatically sealed at age 19, unless you have an adult conviction for a misdemeanor or felony that could result in incarceration or have pending criminal charges.
If you don’t meet one of the situations described above, you can file an application to have your juvenile records sealed pursuant to Tex. Fam. Code § 58.256 if you meet the following criteria:
· You are at least 18 years of age
· If you are not 18, it has been at least two years since the last court action or discharge from probation
· You did not receive a determinate sentence for delinquent conduct that violated penal law or habitual felony conduct
· You have no adult felony convictions or pending adult charges, other than Class C misdemeanors
· You are not currently required to register as a sex offender
· You are not currently committed to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department or Travis County
A court may choose to grant the application without a hearing, but it cannot deny the application without first holding a hearing. There is no filing fee to file an application to have your juvenile records sealed.
The criminal defense lawyers of Peek & Toland have handled the legal defense of countless individuals who are facing criminal charges. We are here to protect your rights and advocate on your behalf in order to get the best outcome possible in your case. Call our office today at (512) 474-4445 to set up an appointment with our criminal defense attorneys today.