How does a juvenile keep a clean record?
If a juvenile is charged with a felony or misdemeanor, a savvy defense lawyer might be able to negotiate a resolution that keeps their client’s record clean.
How to Keep a Juvenile’s Criminal Record Clean
The Juvenile Criminal Court’s ultimate goal is to punish offenders while limiting the effect on the offender’s future, if possible. A child is considered a juvenile for most criminal matters until they are 18 years old. Juvenile crimes can be identical to adult crimes in what they are and how they are committed. The punishment is often different. It is a common misunderstanding that juvenile convictions do not follow a person into their adult life. Juvenile adjudications appear as criminal convictions for criminal record checks and prior convictions if there is a subsequent adult charge. The juvenile’s defense lawyer’s job is to find a way to make sure their client keeps a clean record.
The Consent Calendar and How it Works
There is a way to keep any evidence of a crime from a juvenile offender’s record. This is the consent calendar. The consent calendar places the offender on probation and gives them conditions to fulfill, and if everything is completed without a problem – the case is dismissed, and all evidence of it is removed from existence.
A court might consider juvenile consent calendar placement for misdemeanor, non-violent crimes, or first-time juvenile offenders. No formal plea is entered if an offender is placed on the consent calendar. Effective September 1, 2013, no case may be placed on the consent calendar unless the juvenile and the parent, guardian or legal custodian, and the prosecutor, agree. The court then sets out specific terms that the juvenile must complete within a specified period of time. Additionally, the police must not take fingerprints if a juvenile is placed on the consent docket, and any fingerprints already recorded must be returned. Consent calendar placement is completely non-public, and all records will be destroyed when the youth turns 17. The juvenile consent calendar allows adolescents to keep a clear record and escape harsh lifelong penalties. If a case is on the juvenile court’s formal calendar, the court may transfer the case to the consent calendar at any time before disposition.
There are special rules that apply to a case on a consent calendar and keep a juvenile’s record clean. No formal plea may be entered except as required by the Crime Victim’s Rights Act. However, under no circumstance shall the court enter a finding of guilt.
The Court must hold a conference with the juvenile and the parent, guardian, or legal custodian to discuss the allegations. The victim may be present if desired. If it appears to the Court that the juvenile has committed an act that would make them subject to the Court’s jurisdiction, the Court may issue a written consent calendar plan. The plan cannot contain a provision for removing the juvenile from the custody of the parent, guardian, or legal custodian.
Once the juvenile has successfully completed the terms of the consent calendar case plan, the court must order the case’s close and may destroy all records of the proceedings. Consent calendar is an effective way for a juvenile to keep a clean record.
Violations of the Consent Calendar Plan
Suppose the Court determines that the juvenile has failed to fulfill their obligations under the consent calendar plan and that it is not in the best interest of the juvenile or the public. In that case, the court can order the case transferred to the formal calendar on the charges contained in the original petition, citation, or appearance ticket. Any statements made by the juvenile cannot be used in court against the juvenile if the case goes to trial on the formal calendar.
Also, it is important to note that if there is a violation of the Michigan Motor Vehicle Code, the court must report the violation to the Michigan Secretary of State.
Michigan Juvenile Defense Attorney
Most juveniles charged in delinquency court do not get consent calendar, and having a top juvenile defense lawyer can give them the best possible chance of keeping a clear record. So, if you or your son or daughter face possible charges in the juvenile justice system, it is essential that you have legal representation to protect them. The juvenile justice system has many special policies and rules that are different from adult court. An experienced juvenile law attorney will know and understand the requirements, rules, and policies necessary to protect a juvenile faced with a crime.
The attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have decades of experience in all areas of criminal law, including juvenile criminal law. If you or a loved one is faced with a possible juvenile criminal charge and you need information or speak to someone, call us today. We look forward to being of assistance to you.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.