Can an offense I committed when I was a juvenile be held against me after I am an adult?

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2010

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Can an offense I committed when I was a juvenile be held against me after I am an adult?

When I was 13 I was arrested for stealing. After I turned 18 I went to work for the retail company I stole from in a different city. A month or two later I was then fired because there was some sort of policy with employees and stealing. I haven’t stolen anything from anywhere since the day I got arrested. I even pay for my music. Was I fired illegally? Also, if a future perspective employer calls the company can the HR legally release that I was fired when it wasn’t due to my current work performance.

Asked on July 14, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I am sure that after the arrest a deal was worked out and you either paid a fine and paid back the store or did community service, correct?  And really your record should have been automatically sealed as a minor (but you would have to check state law on this). But what happened here is that the store itself seems to have kept an internal set of records on those who had stolen from them and you were on it.  Or am I wrong and they did a background check?  If they did a background check and the matter was not properly sealed or "expunged" (erased) then you need to take the steps necessary to do so immediately.  Pay a company to run your own check now and after you have submitted the necessary paperwork to have your record sealed to make sure. Were you "illegally" fired?  Probably not.  But you can make sure that this never happens again.  13 year olds have no sense of "what can happen in the future."  It is all about the here and now.  AS an adult it would be a shame to hold that against you.  Good luck.

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