Roughly 1.3 million children under the age of 18 are arrested each year in the U.S. As a parent, you never expect your own kids to be part of that statistic, but unfortunately it happens. While it’s easy to dwell on their arrest, it’s extremely important that you act quickly and hire an experienced criminal defense attorney for them. You should never take a juvenile crime lightly, because the consequences can be far-reaching. Below you’ll find a few of the long-term costs of a juvenile criminal conviction.
Massachusetts Juvenile Court delinquency hearings and files at the courthouse are not open to the public. Even if the juvenile records aren’t sealed, a prospective employer will see “no record”—only courts and the police can see this information. However, youthful offender cases in the Juvenile court are open to the public. If a juvenile with a record applied for a job or housing, an employer or landlord would be able to see the case files if they ran a background check, making it more difficult to secure a job or rent an apartment as an adult.
According to a 2017 study by researchers at the David Geffen School of Medicine, people incarcerated as juveniles have worse physical and mental health as adults than youths who did not spend time in detention centers or correctional facilities. Of the roughly million juveniles arrested each year, 46% percent require immediate medical attention, while 70% have at least one psychiatric disorder. Compared to those not incarcerated, those in the juvenile system for over a year were nearly three times more likely to have functional limitation, over four times more likely to have depression symptoms and twice as likely to have suicidal thoughts as adults.
Unlike adult criminal records, juvenile arrest and conviction records can be sealed. Expunged records, as their known, are treated like they never happened, making it easier to get a driver’s license, find a job, rent an apartment or house, get a loan and apply to a university. In certain cases, the courts may seal juvenile records automatically, but if they don’t, one must petition to do so.
If your child has been arrested, contact our Boston criminal defense lawyer at Brad Bailey Law today. Call (617) 500-0252 or fill out our online form to get started.