If I was arrested for theft as a minor and my record was sealed, will this come up in other cases?

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If I was arrested for theft as a minor and my record was sealed, will this come up in other cases?

I was just cited for theft II in nother state and will have a court date soon. I’m wondering what I should do next? Is there anything I can do?

Asked on September 29, 2012 under Criminal Law, Oregon

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Juvenile records are generally confidential, but law enforcement can still obtain access to the records and potentially use them.  How and when they can be used will depend on which state your new arrest was in.  Some states do not allow a misdemeanor juvenile conviction to be used for enhancement, but will still allow a jury to consider juvies info during the punishment phase of trial.  So brace yourself for the fact that the officer or prosecutor in your new case probably has some info on your juvie case and may use it.

With that being said, it doesn't necessarily mean that you are destined to go to prison just yet.  If you don't have much other history, you can probably qualify for a deferred or probated sentence (meaning you are on probation), or better yet, some type of diversion program (which is like an informal probation).  A criminal attorney can help you identify any other options that may be unique to your situation.  If you cannot afford an attorney, work with the courts to get a court appointed attorney. 


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