While juvenile files and records are generally confidential, there are some important exceptions. A juvenile record can be accessed by police, sheriff’s officers, prosecutors, probation officers, correctional officers, and other criminal and juvenile justice officials in this state and elsewhere. Also, the record may be available to employers, educational institutions, licensing agencies, and other organizations when the person applies for employment or educational programs. Juvenile treatment records (counseling, placement, drug treatment, etc.) are confidential and accessible only to authorized users.
What Form Does A Juvenile File Out To Seal Records?
A juvenile is allowed to file their own "Order To Seal Juvenile Records" with the County Clerk's Office - Juvenile Division located on the second floor. There are guidelines according to the Texas Family CodeChapter 58, Subchapter C-1 that the juvenile's case has to meet. Just because it was filed does not mean "the file will be sealed automatically". The Order is sent to the District Attorney's Office to make sure the juvenile meets guidelines. Once it has been approved by the District Attorney's Office, it will be sent to the judge who originally handled that juvenile's case to sign the Order. The Order will then make its way back to the clerk to send proper responses to all agencies listed on the Order.
If the Order is declined, the clerk will send you notice it was declined.
**The clerks are not allowed to give out legal advice or instruct in any way.
**The juvenile is able to request their record upon arrive to help fill in information on the Order.
•You committed a felony, and your case started in juvenile court but was moved to adult criminal court.
• You have engaged in “habitual felony conduct” for which you received a determinate sentence.
• You are required to register with and report to the Texas Sex Offender Registration Program.
What about Gang Records?
Information about gang activity is maintained by DPS in gang book records as authorized by law. These records are exempt from the new system because the access to these records is already limited to criminal justice agencies for a criminal justice purpose.
What about Sex Offender Records?
Sex offender registration records are exempted from the Restricted Access system because the purpose of registration is to notify the public. If you are a registered juvenile sex offender, you may have a right to have your records sealed once your obligation to register expires. Also, there are other legal proceedings that may allow reconsideration of your obligation to register. Talk to your probation or parole officer about these, or speak to a private attorney.
What are “Juvenile Justice Files and Records”?
Under the record keeping system for juvenile records in Texas, if a juvenile was adjudicated for delinquent conduct (Class A or B misdemeanor or any felony), the juvenile probably has a juvenile record with numerous entities including local law enforcement, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). That record is a permanent record that is not destroyed or erased unless the record is eligible for sealing and the child or the child’s family hires a lawyer to file a petition in court to have the record sealed.
Who has a “Juvenile File and Record” In Texas?
If you have been arrested, taken into custody or charged with a criminal offense (Class A or B misdemeanor or any felony) that was committed when you were at least 10 years old but younger than 17 years old, you probably have a juvenile file and record. You may also have a juvenile record if you were charged with some Class C misdemeanor offenses if the justice or municipal court transferred your case to a juvenile court.