When can sealed juvenile records be reviewed?

If law enforcement arrests your child in Louisiana, this immediately becomes a criminal history linked to a record that may affect future college and job prospects. Fortunately, there is a way to keep a criminal record from ruining his or her future. Depending on the circumstances of the arrest or conviction, you may be able to have the record sealed.

Sealing a record keeps it from being accessible to people who are running a routine background check. Your child may even be able to claim that there is no criminal record when filling out applications. However, there are some situations where certain people may be able to view it.

When the record is relevant to a particular career opportunity

Many professional occupations require a license in order to practice. These include health care providers, psychologists, therapists and attorneys, among others. If the act that resulted in the record may apply to the nature of the job, the agency may be able to deny the application. If your child wants a job in law enforcement, the agency where he or she applies may be able to review the record, as well.

When services are necessary

The State of Louisiana’s Office of Juvenile Justice points out that if your child has a need, such as assessment, treatment and rehabilitation for a substance abuse problem, those who are providing these services may be better able to help if they can view the records. With this in mind, the juvenile court may release the records under limited circumstances, but not without considerations of privacy.

When they inform future court proceedings

Criminal records are accessible by the court system, so if there is a subsequent offense, the judge may consider how older matters may inform a new sentencing.

Because privacy is so important, juvenile records have a number of protections under the law. If you suspect that someone has violated your child’s rights through the release or unauthorized review of sealed records, you should talk to an attorney.

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