Interviewer: If you hire an attorney and they help out your son, daughter, or minor relative who has a juvenile case,
is it a good idea for the lawyer to try to get the case kept in juvenile court? Does it not matter if it progresses to them being tried as an adult?
Munoz: If it’s a case where the state could charge it as an adult, then yes. As a criminal defense lawyer the first thing I would do is try to do everything that I could to make sure the case stays in the juvenile court system.
Keeping Convictions Off Adult Criminal Record
The reason why is in the juvenile criminal system if the juvenile is convicted and once they turn 18 years of age, if they’re convicted, they’ll have a conviction but that conviction will be sealed. Nobody will be able to see it; it will not be on his adult record. That is very important because a juvenile can change their life and become a productive member of society.
You don’t want that felony conviction on his or her record, especially when they will be applying for jobs, going to college, things of that nature. Keeping it in the juvenile system is extremely important because anything that happens in the juvenile system will be sealed and nobody will have access to it.
If it goes to the adult system, if the juvenile is tried as an adult and he is convicted of a felony offense or a crime that crime will be on his record for life.