Can I get a youthful offender status? 4 Answers as of April 13, 2011

This case is 18 years old. I was charged with felony burglary third degree. I was giving youthful offender status. But the military tells me it still a conviction. Can I get this reduced or dismiss so I can join the military? I'm 37 now.

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Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
If you were in fact given Youthful Offender status at the time of disposition of the case the conviction should have been vacated- that is the main purpose of getting youthful offender status so that you will not have a criminal record. If the conviction was not vacated then you may have to make an application to get it expunged. You should hire an attorney.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/13/2011
Law Offices of John Carney
Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
If you were given Youthful Offender Status then you have no conviction, but the police, DA, government, and military will still see that it was a felony arrest and conviction, but that you were spared a criminal record. You can ask your recruiter to try and get a waiver which would allow you to enter the military. This would be more likely with a drug YO as opposed to a serious violent YO like rape, robbery, manslaughter, or any violent felony offense.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/11/2011
Expert Bronx Criminal Lawyers
Expert Bronx Criminal Lawyers | Alexander Sanchez
Your case is unusual. You may want to have your case reviewed to find out if you actually were given youthful offender status. Perhaps there is a mistake in the court file, or you were not given YO as you believed. If it was a YO, it is not a conviction, and the records should have been sealed, even to the military. If the military still treasts it like a conviction, you may want to hire an attorney to file a 440.40 motion to vacate the "conviction".
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/11/2011
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
When you are given Youthful Offender treatment, it means that after you are initially convicted of the Burglary, the Court grants you YO treatment and "sets aside" the conviction and imposes punishment. If the military says that the records are still showing a conviction for a felony, it would be best to go back to the lawyer who represented you and ask to see the old file kept by him/her. While its unlikely that they still have such a file, at least give it a try. Also go to the court clerk's office and ask to see the file. It is a public record, however, it will be in an archive by now, but it should still be there for your review. If you were indeed eligible for YO treatment (meaning you were under 19 at the time of the incident) then YO should have cleared your record. You may have to hire an attorney to open the entire matter up again and correct it, but it should be done if you were eligible and were told you were given YO at the time. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/11/2011
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