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Ordered to appear at the hearing for my juvenile record to be sealed?

Santa Cruz, CA |

I have filed an application to get my juvenile record sealed. I just got the hearing date and the box is checked " You are ordered to be present at the hearing"

I read up on it, because I was under the impression I did not have to be present.

But, apparently, if you have been convicted of something of moral turpitude since, you must. As an adult I have gotten a petty theft infraction.

What can I expect at this hearing? Do I need a lawyer?

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Attorney answers 5


It's my opinion that that anytime you are ordered to appear in court you should be represented by counsel. You do not want to say or do anything that will result in a situation where you would forfeit your right to have your record sealed. A lawyer can speak for you, without your being put on the spot.
Best of luck


You can expect to be asked about the petty theft infraction. You need an attorney for sure to handle the questions about the infraction.


It's always good to have a lawyer. There are so many issues in local court proceedings that can make for bad results. I have 9 years of college and stay up on my subjects of law every week. Congratulations on havering a bright future where you'd want a clean record. It won't be expensive to hire an attorney to make sure all is in order, and to be there for you in court. It will well be worth knowing a professional is with you.

This answer is pro­vided as a pub­lic ser­vice and s a gen­eral response to questions. It is not meant, and should not be relied upon as spe­cific legal advice, nor does it cre­ate an attorney-client relationship.


Had the court not ordered you to appear, you might have moved forward alone. Now: YOU ONLY NEED A LAWYER IF YOU WANT THE REQUEST TO BE GRANTED. The court will undoubtedly ask about the new conviction. Of equal importance is the matter that brought you before the juvenile court as well as your performance on probation. An attorney can help you prepare. Having any of your old probation reports or court records will help him/her to prepare you. While the infraction should not prevent you from getting your record sealed, the way you handle yourself (or better still, the way your lawyer handles the appearance) can make or break the deal. Hire an attorney who practices in juvenile court; if that lawyer is familiar with the court (Santa Cruz?) where you will be appearing, so much the better.


You must be present if ordered to do so. You should get a lawyer so that he can present the strongest case on your behalf. The judge will likely question you about the petty theft and determine if you have sufficient change in character that warrants having the juvenile record sealed.