Under current law, there is limited access to juvenile delinquency records. The bill restricts that access by making certain records public only after a court orders that a child be charged as an adult, consistent with recent changes to the direct file statute, and by eliminating the requirement that the prosecuting attorney notify the school principal of minor offenses. The bill also ensures that the juvenile and his or her attorney can access the juvenile's records, and that juvenile record information is available to agencies that require the information for research purposes, with protections against the disclosure of identifying information.
Under current law, a juvenile or someone on the juvenile's behalf must petition, after an applicable waiting period of one to 5 years, for expungement. The bill requires the court to automatically expunge records in certain situations. In some situations, the juvenile must still petition for expungement. Records will be expunged immediately upon:
- A finding of not guilty at an adjudicatory trial;
- Dismissal of the entire case;
- The completion of a sentence for a municipal offense; and
- The completion of a juvenile sentence for a petty offense or a class 2 or class 3 misdemeanor that is not a sex offense or does not involve domestic violence.
Records will be eligible for expungement upon the completion of a juvenile sentence when the juvenile has a class 1 misdemeanor or a misdemeanor involving domestic violence; or the dismissal after completion of juvenile diversion, a deferred adjudication, or an informal adjustment; or the adjudication of a first-time felony and the adjudicated felony is not a crime of violence, is not an offense involving unlawful sexual behavior, and is not a class 1 or class 2 felony. The court sends a notice to the prosecuting attorney that the records are eligible for expungement. The prosecuting attorney shall notify the victim, and the victim and the prosecuting attorney have the right to object to the expungement. If there is no objection, the court enters an expungement order. If there is an objection, the court holds a hearing to determine if the juvenile is sufficiently rehabilitated and whether expungement is in the best interest of the juvenile and the community.
All other juveniles must file a petition to request expungement after an applicable waiting period. Records will be eligible for expungement one year after a law enforcement contact that did not result in a referral to another agency. Records will be eligible for expungement one year from the date of the completion of a juvenile sentence if the juvenile was not adjudicated a repeat, mandatory, aggravated, or violent juvenile offender. After the petition is filed, the court shall hold a hearing, and the court shall grant expungement if it finds that the juvenile has been rehabilitated and that expungement is in the best interest of the juvenile and the community. A person who is adjudicated as a repeat or mandatory offender, violent juvenile offender, or aggravated juvenile offender; adjudicated for homicide or vehicular homicide as a juvenile offender; or adjudicated for a felony offense involving unlawful sexual behavior is not eligible for expungement.
The bill requires written notice of the right to expungement and of the expungement process to the juvenile.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)