Juveniles in Virginia who have been arrested, charged, and convicted of crimes might be under the impression that these offenses will remain on their criminal record for the rest of their lives. However, the state’s criminal justice system provides some relief in giving juveniles an opportunity to most past previous mistakes and crimes.
If you were under 18 years of age when you were convicted of a crime, then you may be able to get your criminal history record expunged. While expungement occurs automatically for some types of violations, there are exceptions for others.
Arrests & Dismissal of Charges
If a juvenile is found not guilty or the proceeding was otherwise dismissed, a juvenile can file a motion with the court for an expungement of those records without having to wait until turning 19 or until five years have passed.
If a juvenile is found guilty in a delinquency proceeding for an offense that would have been a misdemeanor—if committed by an adult—and there is no requirement for the Clerk of the Court to submit an abstract to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), then the case can be expunged. However, a juvenile must first reach 19 years old and wait until five years have passed since the last hearing in the case. Then, on January 2—or some other date designated by the individual court—of the following year will the conviction be expunged.
Can Juvenile Felonies Be Expunged?
If a juvenile is found guilty in a delinquency proceeding for an offense that would have been a felony, the record for the offense are, unfortunately, never expunged. The Clerk of the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court is required to keep these records.
Additionally, the juvenile record can be used against the individual in future sentencing events, in the event the person is convicted of a criminal offense as an adult.
Motor Vehicle Code Violations
If a juvenile is found guilty of an offense of any violation of law involving operation of a motor vehicle, the theft of an unauthorized use of motor vehicle, alcohol-related boating offenses, or failures to pay fines or costs for traffic offenses, the records are not expunged until the individual turns 29 years of age. The logic behind this exception is that some traffic offenses, such as DUI or reckless driving, remain on a person’s driving record for 11 years. A conviction for such a crime committed by a juvenile at age 17 would remain on the juvenile’s driving record for 11 years, so 29 is the age at which all traffic-related offenses would be removed from a juvenile’s DMV transcript.
If you are interested in having your criminal record expunged in Virginia, contact The Law Offices of Daniel J. Miller and request a free consultation with our Virginia Beach criminal defense lawyer today.