Is there a way to get a grand theft felony charge taken off my record if I was a minor at the time? 45 Answers as of August 17, 2012

When I was 15, I went to a friend’s house and we sprayed the fire extinguisher that hung in his apartment. The manager of the apartment called the cops and we got a felony for grand theft fire extinguisher. Every since this happened to me, I have not been able to go to college, even though I qualify otherwise. I also have been rejected from jobs due to having a grand theft charge. Right now I am jobless and I want to go to college. Is there any cheap way to get this charge dropped? If not then can I sue the state for giving a child such a harsh charge when I never actually stole anything, I was just being a kid?

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Law office of Robert D. Scott | Robert Scott
Usually, juvenile records are sealed, unless you voluntarily revealed your juvenile record to the jobs or schools. The Public Defender in your jurisdiction may be able to assist you with sealing your juvenile record.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 8/17/2012
Law Office of Christopher G Humphrey PC | Christopher G Humphrey
You may move to expunge your record if you were charged as a juvenile, you may petition the governor for a pardon if you were charged as adult.
Answer Applies to: Wyoming
Replied: 8/16/2012
Law Office of George M. Derieg
Law Office of George M. Derieg | George Derieg
If you were a juvenile when the conviction occurred, I don't understand why you can't go to college. You should petition to have your record sealed, and request an expungment on top of that. I don't think you can sue the state for a harsh charge, so much as you can sue the fire extinguisher for allowing it to be stolen.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/11/2012
Leonard A. Kaanta, P.C. | Leonard A. Kaanta
If it was over six years ago, you probably can get it expunged.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/9/2012
Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
Were you cahrged as an adult or a minor? If you were cahrged as a minor then why is it being rpeorted to these people? If as an adult, then you should be able to ask for it to be expunged if 5 years have passed and no other trouble.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/8/2012
    Larry K. Dunn & Associates | Larry K. Dunn
    Unless your were certified as an adult at the time of your offense, there is a juvenile adjudication and not a criminal conviction. Your juvenile record should not be public information available to employers. You can contact an attorney who practices in sealing records to explore having your records sealed.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Law Office of Ronald G. Draper | Ronald G. Draper
    Being a kid has never meant you are excused or forgiven from committing crimes. However,it is possible now to expunge or seal any juvenile case history.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Dennis P. Mikko Attorney at Law | Dennis P. Mikko
    First, if the matter was handled in juveniile court, you do not have a felony. You could petition the juvenile court to expunge the record.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Law Office of Charles M. Vacca Jr. | Charles Martin Vacca Jr.
    Certainly an argument can be made that you were a minor when this felony occurred (and that the crime itself did not have further ramifications). Felonies are expunged after 10 years. Until that 10 year period has passed, you may seek to at least have the file sealed.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    I cannot understand how anyone aged 15 could get an adult felony conviction. First, check to see if there is any way to have the conviction set aside on account of your age and that youthful offender was not properly considered. You may have received youthful offender and you just don't know it. Otherwise, you can petition to have your civil rights reinstated if you have completed probation. There is no expungement law in the State of Alabama at this time. If the Alabama legislature were to ever pass such a law I would suspect that you would have to have your rights reinstated to take advantage of any expungement law.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Law Offices of Mark L. Smith
    Law Offices of Mark L. Smith | Mark L. Smith
    If you were a minor at the time it is not on your record. Juvenile records are not accessible to the general public.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    If you had a felony conviction as a 15 year old that would be very rare. It is much more likely that you have a Youthful Offender Treatment conviction which can still make it hard to get a job, an apartment, a loan, or to get into school or become a professional. You can still get an education or develop skills and start your own business. No one makes big money at a job, the way to make money is to own your own business or become an electrician, plumber, or contractor.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Correia-Champa & Mailhot
    Correia-Champa & Mailhot | Susan Correia Champa
    Yes, you would need to request the court to seal your record. There are very specific requirements to to sealing your record. As long as you currently have nothing since that incident I think you should contact an attorney I beleive it would be well worth your effort to have the record sealed.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Law Office of Jared C. Winter
    Law Office of Jared C. Winter | Jared C. Winter
    You should try to get your juvenile record sealed. You can try to do this on your own, or better yet, you can hire a lawyer to take care of it. If you want to check into it, start by contacting the probation department of the county you were convicted in. Call them and tell them you want to have your juvenile record sealed. The process usually involves filling out some paperwork, paying a fee, and going to a court hearing.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Did you have other trouble with the police? I don't see why you didn't get youthful offender treatment.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/7/2012
    Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
    It may be possible to have the charges expunged or the record sealed by the court. I suggest that you contact an experienced criminal law attorney for a face-to-face consultation and give him/her all of the facts surrounding your case. He/she would then be in a better position to analyze you case and advise you of your options. With regards to suing the State - probably not.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/6/2012
    Law Office of Gregory Crain | Gregory Crain
    Juvenile records are supposed to be sealed.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 8/6/2012
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    If the charges were in Juvenile Court where there are no convictions of minors, only findings, then it might be possible to have it sealed. If so, contact me. However, it sounds like you were charged and convicted as an adult in Superior Court. If so: While the general rule is Records are forever, some CA convictions can be 'expunged' from criminal records by proper application and Petition to the court, but ONLY IF there was no felony prison time sentenced whether served or not, and if all terms of sentencing and at least one year of probation are completed, and if there are no new charges pending. Sounds like yours may qualify. If successful, the conviction would be withdrawn and the charges dismissed. Expungement does NOT clear, 'remove', erase or disappear the conviction, but does change the record to show an arrest with 'conviction reversed and dismissed by expungement'. The conviction is still a 'prior' or 'strike' for purposes of repeat offenses. That record is accessible to government agencies, law enforcement, courts, background checks, insurance companies, etc. Expungement will help in obtaining employment. When applying for a job in the private sector, in response to any question concerning your prior criminal record, you may legally deny that you were arrested or convicted of the offense. However, you must disclose the arrest and conviction in any questionnaire or application for certification or licensing by any government agency [medical, legal, educational, professional, law enforcement, security clearances, bonding, etc], for public office, for a position as a peace officer, for contracting with the California State Lottery, or for purposes of serving on a jury.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/6/2012
    Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
    You should go to the juvenile court where you were convicted and get a petition to seal the record. Juvenile records are not usually available to the public so I do not know why you have had these consequences.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/6/2012
    Conway Law Pllc.
    Conway Law Pllc. | B. L. Conway
    Well as a JUVE record in Va., it should be sealed. There is no way to get it expunged in Ole Va absent a pardon from the Governor. You have the Socialist Consevative Republicans to thank for that.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 8/6/2012
    Law Offices of Brian J. Lockwood
    Law Offices of Brian J. Lockwood | Brian J. Lockwoood
    A youthful offender or juvenile matter can be sealed as a matter of law. Contact an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/6/2012
    Austin Hirschhorn, P.C.
    Austin Hirschhorn, P.C. | Austin Hirschhorn
    If you only have one conviction on your criminal record it is possible to have it expunged. If you were 15 at the time of this offense you would have been eligible for Holmes Youthful Trainee relief or prosecution as a juvenile. I am afraid there is a lot you have not put into the description of what happened when you were 15 and why you were prosecuted as an adult. There is no cheap way to get this conviction taken care of. You cannot sue the state because of the governmental immunity laws if the police and prosecutor were doing their jobs. I suggest that you hire a criminal attorney and tell him all of the facts and he might be able to help you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/3/2012
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    If you were referred into adult court, and you are referring to an adult court conviction, you are entitled to expungement. If you are referring to a juvenile court adjudication, it should not be causing you the problems you describe. Expungement of a juvenile adjudication is up to the discretion of the court. I need more information about the conviction to properly answer your question.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/3/2012
    THE LOCKHART LAW FIRM | CLAYTON LOCKHART
    In Mississippi you can have this charge expunged from your record so that you can qualify for educational loans, grants, etc., and also so you can qualify for jobs that you otherwise would not be able to have with a felony conviction on your record.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 8/3/2012
    James M. Osak, P.C.
    James M. Osak, P.C. | James M. Osak
    If you have a CLEAN record since this fire extinguisher episode. It's called an "expungement." It'll cost you around $500 with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/3/2012
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    First off, you had to have had an attorney and I cannot understand why your attorney would have you take a felony rip if what you say is true - there is youthful offender status, family court options, etc. You are leaving something out. Nonetheless, you can move the trial court to vacate the sentence for various reasons, but you are looking at substantial legal fees.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/3/2012
    Barbara Fontaine, Esquire | Barbara Fontaine
    I do not know what state you live in. In RI this would be a Family Court matter and the matter would be sealed from public. Maybe try the Public Defender's office and they can either help you or give advice as to what to do in your state. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 8/3/2012
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    When I sit as judge and I talk to the people that come before me, I tell them that the most important word in the English language is "consequence"; that you can do anything you want, good or bad, as long as you are willing to accept and live with the consequences of your decisions. You made a very bad decision and now you are being forced to live with the consequences, and more so, you are now looking to blame someone else (ie: sue the State for giving a harsh charge to a kid... that you were just being a kid). You were convicted of a charge. The prosecutor had evidence that you violated the law and the evidence fit the charge. The charge was based purely upon your actions. More so, in order to obtain a conviction, the State (prosecutor) had to prove every element of the crime "beyond a reasonable doubt". Based upon the conviction, it is clear that the State met its burden. Having said this, you may be able to get it off your record, but I would need to know your criminal history and whether or not you have had any violations of the law since this incident. Generally, there must be a passage of at least 5 years from the time you completed all court obligations and were released from probation of the case at issue. If this is the case, you may petition the sentencing court and see if the judge will remove it. You want to do this cheaply. You don't define what you mean by "cheap". If you mean less than $1,000.00... doubtful.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/3/2012
    Pietryga Law Office | Russ Pietryga
    First, it appears that you were convicted as a juvenile. That means, you can expunge and seal the records. Expungement: You may petition the court for the expungement of your juvenile record, if you are at least 18 and 1 year has passed from the date of: (1) termination of juvenile court jurisdiction; or the your unconditional release from the custody of the Division of Juvenile Justice Services. Sealed: An agency receiving the expungement order must seal or otherwise restrict public access to the records in its possession or expunge all references to the petitioner's name in the record. Note, to have the records of government agency sealed, the petitioner must deliver a certified copy of the expungement order on the agency. This should solve your problem. Hope this helps.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/3/2012
    Law Office of Bernal Peter Ojeda | Bernal Peter Ojeda
    You have a certain amount of time to seal your juvenile record. I don't know how old you are now but you may be time barred from sealing your record.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/3/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    I need many more details. If you qualify it is not terribly expensive to have a felony expunged.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/3/2012
    VALENTE SCHARG & ASSOCIATES | DEAN VALENTE
    Not sure how malicious mischief got charged and convicted as grand theft nothing was stolen. Maybe MDOP at worst. two ways, once you turn 18 ask court where conviction was entered to seal your record as a minor or once 5 years have passed, petition court for expungment of the conviction from your record...only works if no other criminal convictions on record INCLUDING driving misdemeanors.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/3/2012
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    In MA you can seal your record after 10 years for a felony or 5 years for a misdemeanor. Contact the probation department of the court where you were charged. If it requires more than just completing a form, I would recommend that you retain an attorney to assist you. Some circumstances are automatically allowed, some require a judge's approval. If it is just completing the form and submitting it, you can save yourself the legal fees.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 8/3/2012
    Christensen Corbett & Pankratz
    Christensen Corbett & Pankratz | Craig L. Pankratz
    You have the right to apply for your records to be expunged.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/3/2012
    Douglas M. Philpott, P.C. | Peter J. Philpott
    Your best option is to have your conviction set aside/expunged.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/3/2012
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
    You need to consult with an attorney about getting the records expunged, if that is at all possible. As long as you were not convicted, that is if adjudication was withheld, you can pay $75 to FDLE for a certificate of eligibility, and $750 and up to an attorney to get this done.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/3/2012
    Pearson, Butler, & Carson, PLLC
    Pearson, Butler, & Carson, PLLC | Matthew R. Kober
    As long as you are eligible you can get it expunged or sealed. Eligibility is based on the total number of offenses, time that has passed, and whether any of the offense are not eligible. Generally speaking if you don't have more than 6-7 charges and non of them are alcohol, sex, or violence related, you can get it expunged or sealed.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/3/2012
    Law Office of Charles J. Block
    Law Office of Charles J. Block | Charles J. Block
    Sure - you can do an expungement but there is a waiting period from the time you were done your probation and paid all your fines.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/2/2012
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Assuming this is your only conviction ever and it's over 5 years old, you may be eligible for an Expungement.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/2/2012
    Kalberg Law Office, L.L.C. | Chris Kalberg
    No. You cannot sue the state under those circumstances. Yes, you may be eligible to exunge the conviction if it happened in Kansas. You should talk to an attorney about that process as costs and ultimate eligibility will vary depending on facts not present in your original question.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 8/1/2012
    Thomas C. Brandstrader Attorney At Law | Thomas C. Brandstrader
    Juveniles do not have records as an adult.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/1/2012
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C.
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C. | Stuart M. Nachbar
    Records of conviction for the following crimes specified in the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice shall not be subject to expungement: Section 2C:11-1 et seq. (Criminal Homicide), except death by auto as specified in section 2C:11-5; section 2C:13-1 (Kidnapping); section 2C:13-6 (Luring or Enticing); section 1 of P.L.2005, c. 77 (C.2C:13-8) (Human Trafficking); section 2C:14-2 (Aggravated Sexual Assault); section 2C:14-3a (Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact); if the victim is a minor, section 2C:14-3b (Criminal Sexual Contact); if the victim is a minor and the offender is not the parent of the victim, section 2C:13-2 (Criminal Restraint) or section 2C:13-3 (False Imprisonment); section 2C:15-1 (Robbery); section 2C:17-1 (Arson and Related Offenses); section 2C:24-4a. (Endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual conduct which would impair or debauch the morals of the child); section 2C:24-4b(4) (Endangering the welfare of a child); section 2C:24-4b. (3) (Causing or permitting a child to engage in a prohibited sexual act); section 2C:24:4b.(5)(a) (Selling or manufacturing child pornography); section 2C:28-1 (Perjury); section 2C:28-2 (False Swearing); section 2C:34-1b. (4) (Knowingly promoting the prostitution of the actor's child); section 2 of P.L.2002, c. 26 (C.2C:38-2) (Terrorism); subsection a. of section 3 of P.L.2002, c. 26 (C.2C:38-3) (Producing or Possessing Chemical Weapons, Biological Agents or Nuclear or Radiological Devices); and conspiracies or attempts to commit such crimes.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/27/2012
    Abom & Kutulakis, L.L.P,.
    Abom & Kutulakis, L.L.P,. | Jason P. Kutulakis
    You should consult with and retain an attorney to review your case for expunction or pardon.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 8/1/2012
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