How Juvenile Offenses Can Haunt You

Sep 15


Peter Wendt

Peter Wendt

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As an adult, you may not think about a crime you committed years ago as a teenager. You may have put the incident behind you and moved on with your life. That does not mean the offense can no longer affect you.


Enrolling in college

You might decide to apply to college in hopes of bettering your career prospects. Colleges can be very selective in accepting applicants. If they have a lot of high quality students attempting to enroll,How Juvenile Offenses Can Haunt You Articles your juvenile record could make you a less attractive candidate to admissions officers, and you would not get accepted to the college. You will likely be able to get into some colleges, but your criminal record could affect your eligibility for financial aid. Those with certain offenses do not qualify for loans from the federal government.

Enlisting in the military

Branches of the military take moral character into account for those wishing to enlist. Having a criminal history does not automatically exclude you from joining the military, but it can be a stumbling block. The military will take people with certain offenses but are reluctant to accept those with very serious charges. If your juvenile charge is serious, you may be allowed to enlist with a waiver that shows your character has improved as an adult. 

Finding employment

Like the military, employers with law enforcement agencies consider their applicants’ moral character. If you are interested in working with your local police force, having a juvenile record could prevent you from getting a job. You will likely be ineligible for many federal jobs if you committed crimes as a juvenile. 

If you were fingerprinted as a juvenile when you committed a crime, your offense may show up for a potential employer’s background check. Your criminal history could prevent you from getting employment positions that involve handling money, accessing customers' personal information or entering customers' homes. 

Additional criminal offenses

Your juvenile offenses can really come back to haunt you if you get into trouble with the law as an adult. The court will likely consider your criminal history when making a decision regarding new charges. The fact that you have a juvenile record could cause the judge to give you a longer sentence for your new crime.

Sealing your record

Having a juvenile record could cause problems for the remainder of your life, but there is something you can do. You could request that your juvenile record be sealed or expunged. If you have had additional crimes since your juvenile offense, the judge may deny your request. Even if a judge grants your request, there is a possibility that the military and other government agencies can find out that you have a juvenile record.