Youthful indiscretions. Maybe you committed one or two and, just maybe, the cops were involved.
If that’s true, you have a record, and that record follows you unless you do something about it.
The legal term is expungement. A judge can, in some cases, wipe your record clean.
But you have to request it.
Trouble is, many people who have made a trip to the Juvenile Justice Center believe that juvenile records are private and, in some cases, they are public.
“And they also tend to think that if they turn 18 that it magically goes away,” said Juvenile Defender Jill Johnson, “and that’s not the case.”
But that trip to the juvenile center can be erased from your record if you file a petition to a judge seeking expungement.
JauNae Hanger of the Children’s Policy and Law Initiative is one of the organizers of a first-of-its-kind expungement fair that will be conducted Saturday to increase awareness.
It will take place at four locations around town, including Tabernacle Presbyterian Church, where lawyers will show people how to seek expungement of their juvenile records.
“It could be somebody who just has an arrest on their record,” said Hanger. “That doesn’t go away unless you expunge it.” And that’s even without a conviction.
The Edna Martin Christian Center will also host the fair. “You can make a mistake as long as you recover from it,” said Altina Truss of the Martin Center. “So, this is an opportunity for some people to recover from that one mistake.”
And if it’s successful there will be more fairs to follow.
Expungement, meantime, is not guaranteed. It may require a hearing and a judge must make a ruling. It can take 6 to 8 weeks to accomplish.