Will my son’s criminal record automatically be expunged at the age of 18?

UPDATED: Aug 22, 2011

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Will my son’s criminal record automatically be expunged at the age of 18?

My son, age 17, was pulled over (cop said he was following car too close; my son said he wasn’t). Cop asked to search his car. My son said cop said he will call K-9, so my son said OK. There were 3 other boys in the car ages 17-19. The cops found marijuana butts in the ashtray. They ticketed my son for following too close and marijuana. He has never been in any trouble with the law. He has court date next month and he turn 18 4 days before. Do you recommend he request an court appointed lawyer? Should we speak with a private criminal law attorney? In South Norfolk, VA.

Asked on August 22, 2011 Virginia


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

How was he charged?  As a juvenile?  If he is convicted as an adult then the record will not automatically be expunged.  I would most definitely consult with an attorney on this matter as soon as you can.  Your son can indeed request an attorney be appointed on his behalf but I would take no chances here going in blind, so to speak.  If there is the slightest chance that this will show up on a record for the rest of his life I would hire some one.  It may also be a good idea for your son to enter in to a voluntary drug rehab program prior to the court date to shoe the judge that he has every intention of going straight.  Good luck.

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