How to Clear a Juvenile Criminal Record

Updated November 22, 2016

Juvenile criminal records typically involve cases with children under 18-years-old. Each state maintains independent processes to seal or clear juvenile convictions. For instance, in cases in which a juvenile was not detained, and subsequently was not convicted of a felony or misdemeanour, a petition can be filed with a court requesting that all records be sealed. However, if a juvenile was detained and discharged without incident, then a petition to set aside the conviction can be filed.

Contact the juvenile court clerk where your record exists. Obtain information about eligibility, filing fee and whether a blank petition is available. Confirm whether you need additional items, such as a background check.

Gather documents that relate to your juvenile record. You must provide the case number of each juvenile case, along with contact information including your name, address, phone number and date of birth.

Prepare a petition that states your contact information at the top. The body of the petition should describe your request. For instance, you could state: "Comes now, [your name], and according to [your state] laws, petition this court to expunge my juvenile record."

Sign and date the petition in front of a notary public. Make a copy of the signed petition for your records.

File the petition with the court, pay the appropriate filing fee and attend the hearing before the court.


Juvenile records usually are confidential or unavailable to the general public, including employers. Clearing your juvenile criminal record allows you to apply for jobs or licenses without disclosing past convictions, and removes information about your convictions from public records.


If you do not file a request, your juvenile record generally will not be automatically destroyed.

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About the Author

Maggie Gebremichael has been a freelance writer since 2002. She speaks Spanish fluently and resides in Texas. When she is not writing articles for, Gebremichael loves to travel internationally and learn about different cultures. She obtained an undergraduate degree with a focus on anthropology and business from the University of Texas and enjoys writing about her various interests.