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Everything from the underage purchase of tobacco to truancy to sexting are considered crimes that people under the age of eighteen commonly commit, for example, or purchase of alcohol if one is under the age of twenty-one.
Many age-related crimes are eligible for expunction when the minor reaches the age where their past crime is no longer a crime. In other cases, experienced expungement attorneys have seen minors petition for expunction after completing mandatory community service.
Defining Expunction Qualifications
If parents want to know if their child qualifies for expunction, some factors someone should consider include whether:
- The child was arrested or detained
- They were convicted of an age-related crime versus an activity that is criminal regardless of age
- Multiple offenses took place
What is the Purpose of Getting a Charge Expunged?
In most cases, minors are detained and then brought home. Remember, expunction hides an arrest, not a detention. If there was no arrest, there is no need for expunction because there is no arrest record to eradicate. Typically, conviction of an age-related crime means if the child had done the same thing at a different age it would not be a crime. For example, if they were convicted for drinking underage, they can petition for it to be expunged when they turn twenty-one.
It can be important to know that expunction grants someone only a second chance no matter how young they are at the time. It typically means that this lapse in judgment is an infrequent occurrence. Getting caught drinking underage once is a lapse in judgment. Getting caught drinking underage two, three, or more times demonstrates a habit pattern that cannot be remedied with a legal proceeding.
Impact of a Child’s Criminal History
In many cases, expunction is dependent on the child completing community service, diversion classes, or getting their diploma. For example, they can petition for expunction of truancy charges if they earn a high school diploma or its equivalent by the age of twenty-one.
If a minor is convicted of underage tobacco use or purchase, their record can be expunged after completing a tobacco awareness program and community service relating to tobacco awareness. Again, in most of these cases, more than one offense disqualifies your child from expunction.
Before you take the time to petition for expunction, consult with a lawyer to make sure you or your child’s situation actually qualifies. Expunction is a great option if it is actually available to you. Otherwise, it is just a waste of time and money.
Lawyers can help you gain a full understanding of your situation and what you can do about it. Expunction is a great option for putting a lapse in judgment or a bout of bad luck behind you where it belongs.