The teenage years can be a difficult transitional time and this confusion often leads teens to make reckless mistakes that can stay with them forever.
If your child has committed a crime, how do you know if a criminal record will follow them into adulthood?
Non-violent versus violent crime
Petty theft, vandalism, drug possession and trespassing are among the most common juvenile offenses. Such crimes usually do not cause physical injury or harm to another person, which means your teen will likely have their case tried in juvenile court. First-time offenders are also more commonly tried as juveniles rather than adults.
However, if they used, or even threatened to use, force to harm another person, your teenager could face trial as an adult. The verdict will depend on the severity of the crime and the age of your child, as well as many other factors that occurred at the time of the alleged crime and during the hearing.
Expunged and sealed records
If convicted of a crime, there is a possibility that this information can stay hidden or even removed from your teen’s record. Expungement removes an arrest or conviction from your child’s record. Sealing records does not remove the incident altogether, but it does make the information essentially invisible to the public. This means that this mistake will not ruin your teenager’s chances of getting a job or going to college.
Mistakes are a part of growing up, but a reckless decision does not have to follow your child forever.