Can Criminal Records for Juvenile Offenders Be Kept Confidential?

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_2087573356_20220519-170428_1.jpgMinors who are charged with crimes and involved in juvenile delinquency proceedings or criminal cases in adult courts may face multiple types of consequences. In addition to criminal penalties, such as being placed in juvenile detention, paying fines or restitution, performing community service, and serving a sentence of probation, a person may face a number of other consequences. A criminal record can limit a person’s future job prospects, their ability to pursue an education or find housing, and multiple other areas of their life. Unfortunately, the mistakes made by a young person could follow them for the rest of their life.

Criminal justice advocates believe that juvenile offenders deserve the chance to put criminal offenses behind them as they move forward into adulthood. Multiple scientific studies have shown that when people are in their teens and early twenties, their brains are still developing, and they may not fully be able to understand the consequences of their actions or have the ability to control impulses. Because of this, minors who are charged or convicted of crimes will be likely to outgrow this behavior and avoid criminal activity in the future. However, a criminal record can make it difficult to do so. To address this issue, advocates are calling for changes to laws to ensure that juvenile criminal records can be expunged or kept confidential.

How Connecticut Law Addresses Juvenile Records

The laws that address criminal records for juvenile offenders differ significantly from state to state. Some states provide for the automatic expungement of criminal records after a minor reaches adulthood, while others require juveniles to apply for expungement. Fortunately for those who live in Connecticut, the state’s laws provide minors with protection and help ensure that they can receive the fresh start they deserve once they have served their sentences.

Connecticut law requires records of juvenile delinquency proceedings to be kept confidential. These include court records related to decisions issued by a judge, court-ordered evaluations or mental health examinations, treatment plans or other records maintained by social service agencies, and information used by law enforcement agencies, such as fingerprints or photographs. Most of the time, these records can only be accessed by the child’s parents or guardian, their attorney, law enforcement officials, the Department of Children and Families, employees of agencies that provide services or treatment programs, or court employees who are involved in a case. In some cases, the victim of a juvenile crime may access information about the child offender, their parents, and the disposition of their case, and this information may be used in a civil case seeking compensation for damages that occurred because of the offense.

Contact Our Hartford Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorney

Minors who are charged with crimes or involved in juvenile delinquency proceedings may need to take steps to protect their rights and ensure that they can avoid consequences that will affect their adult lives. Woolf Law Firm, LLC provides representation in juvenile criminal cases, and we can help determine whether a minor can defend against accusations and avoid criminal penalties or whether diversion programs may be available. We can help children make sure they will be able to avoid a criminal record that could limit their future prospects. To set up a free consultation and get the legal help you need, contact our Connecticut juvenile crimes lawyer at 860-290-8690.

Sources:

https://www.law360.com/articles/1482133

https://www.cga.ct.gov/current/pub/chap_815t.htm#sec_46b-124

https://www.jud.ct.gov/juv_infoguide/IJCP_CourtRecords.html


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