Skip to main content

I applied to have my juvenile records sealed, but was denied because of my adult conviction (all misdemeanors).

San Lorenzo, CA |

My question is. On my 38th birthday, will it be automatcially be destroyed?

will my juvenile records be destroyed on or after my 38th. birthday despite of my adult convictions? My understanding is that although you do not file to have your juvenile records destroyed, juvenile courts can only keep your case(s) for 20 years. 20 years is the statue of limitation for juvenile wrap sheet. Is this true?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Good lord where did you come up with 38? You should not have been denied on your request to have your juvenile records sealed regardless of whatever horrendous things you have done as an adult. Nothing will be "automatically" destroyed. Although you shouldn't need a lawyer there's enough that's weird in your fact question that an attorney might deal with this more quickly than whatever idiot told you you had to wait until you are 38.


  2. Juvenile records can be "sealed," but they are still available to law enforcement. For instance, if you were convicted of a "strike" crime as a Juvenile, those "strikes" still count when you are charged as an adult.

    Seth Weinstein, Esq.
    Practicing throughout Los Angeles &
    Southern California
    (310) 707-7131
    www.sethweinsteinlaw.com

    This reply should NOT be considered a legal opinion of your case / inquiry. At this time I do not have sufficient factual/legal documentation to give a complete answer to your question and there may be more to the issues you raised then I have set out in my brief reply.


  3. This is a very complicated issue of law and attorneys routinely see Superior Courts apply the statutes with different standards and varying results. The origin of the 38-year birthday time limit is in info published on many superior court web-sites. From the L A County (and Or Co) superior courts web-sites:
    "If you graduated from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Juvenile Justice, your juvenile convictions will have been dismissed as part of your graduation. If you do not petition to have your juvenile records sealed and destroyed, they will remain on your record until your 38th birthday; then they will be destroyed.
    ...

    Unless the court determines otherwise, juvenile court records shall be ordered destroyed five years after sealing, or when a dependent reaches the age of 28 or a ward reaches the age of 21 or 38. (Welfare and Institutions Code § 389(c), 781(d), 826)."

    Welfare & institutions Code § 781(d) provides:
    "(d) Unless for good cause the court determines that the juvenile court record shall be retained, the court shall order the destruction of a person's juvenile court records that are sealed pursuant to this section as follows: five years after the record was ordered sealed, if the person who is the subject of the record was alleged or
    adjudged to be a person described by Section 601; or when the person who is the subject of the record reaches the age of 38 if the person was alleged or adjudged to be a person described by Section 602, except that if the subject of the record was found to be a person described in Section 602 because of the commission of an offense listed in subdivision (b), of Section 707, when he or she was 14 years of age or older, the record shall not be destroyed. Any other agency in possession of sealed records may destroy its records five years after the record was ordered sealed."

    If you did not utilize legal counsel in your effort for sealing, you may want to consult counsel now and determine whether that effort should be renewed. It is possible that the Office of the Public Defender can assist you with information and oversight, too. The PD may have good insight as to how the local court understands this statutory scheme.

    My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.

Juvenile law topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics