Whether as an adult now, or still a juvenile, an individual may request that certain Nebraska records be sealed. Nebraska statutes §§43-2,108.01-05 detail how an individual may request that his or her criminal record as a juvenile be sealed. The sealable records may be juvenile cases, juvenile diversions, or convictions in a criminal court (i.e., adult court). This guide will describe the procedure to seal an adult conviction committed by a juvenile in Nebraska.
- An individual need not reach the age of majority in order to seal his or her criminal/juvenile history.
- However, the individual must have been under 18 when the offense took place. Despite the fact that the age of majority in Nebraska is 19.
- Tthe criminal cases are limited to misdemeanors. Felony convictions are not eligible to be sealed.
- The juvenile may file a motion in the court requesting the juvenile’s records be sealed.
- If the county attorney objects, there will be a hearing scheduled.
- At the hearing, the judge will hear evidence to decide the question of whether the juvenile has been rehabilitated to a satisfactory degree. In deciding that question, the judge will consider the following 1) the juvenile’s age; 2) the nature of the offense; 3) juvenile’s history/behavior following the case sought to be sealed; 4) the juvenile’s education and employment history; 5) any other relevant circumstances surrounding the juvenile’s rehabilitation.
- If the judge decides that the juvenile record is not to be sealed, a new motion may be brought again in 1 year unless the judges waive that restriction.
So what is the judge really looking for? A case that will be sealed will involve an offense that is immature in nature, the consequence (the sentence or rehabilitation) was effective, and there is no pattern of criminal history since the offense. Thus, the argument goes: the offender committed the offense did not know better (because s/he was just a child), s/he has learned from the incident, and since the incident, s/he has stayed out of trouble. Of course, each case is different, and an experienced juvenile and criminal defense attorney should be consulted to develop the best strategy for sealing a juvenile record.