For most high school seniors, the final year means more freedom, parties, and looking forward to college or employment. Graduating from high school is a huge milestone, but for some seniors, even juniors, applying to college can produce stress and anxiety, especially if their application materials include the mention of a criminal record. Juvenile offenses may remain on a record and be part of the application process. While this does not necessarily mean denial, a criminal record can influence the final decision of an admissions committee.
Unfortunately, childhood missteps and adolescent delinquencies can have a long-term impact on a young person’s future rights and options. Our Birmingham juvenile crimes defense attorneys understand the importance of mitigating charges and penalties at the outset to protect young offenders. We believe that immature behaviors and mistakes shouldn’t ruin a young person’s life and future opportunities. Our priority is to deliver the most aggressive and strategic defense on behalf of our juvenile clients. In addition to delivering quality criminal defense, we are also committed to helping our clients get back on track after a criminal charge, arrest, or conviction.
Common crimes associated with juveniles include drug or alcohol possession, drinking and driving, driving without a license, and petty theft. More serious crimes may include drug trafficking or distribution, felony assault or battery, weapons possession, or sex crimes. The nature of the criminal offense will have an impact your penalties as well as how severely it may impact your future job or college opportunities.
Will colleges see my criminal record?
If you are now applying for college, you are likely concerned about how a criminal record may impact your ability to get into college. First of all, remember that not all colleges will take your criminal history into account when reviewing your application and making acceptances. Also remember that even though some juvenile records are sealed, colleges have the right to review juvenile records for application purposes.
Do I have to answer “yes” regarding a criminal record on my application?
If a college application asks whether you were ever convicted of a crime, you can answer “no” if you were charged but not convicted. If you are over the age of 18 and your record was expunged, you can also answer “no” to this question. An expungement will erase any juvenile convictions you had on your record.
Can I get my record expunged?
Expungement is also a possibility for some defendants. An expungement is possible if a mistake was made in your case or if the details of your case meet certain requirements. If you were charged but not convicted of a crime, this gives you the right to have your record expunged. For more information about record expungement and applying to college in Alabama, check with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Remember that applying to college after a conviction can be more complicated, but with experienced support and navigation of the criminal justice system, you can protect your rights and opportunities. While some schools consider your criminal history, others may not ask for it. It is also possible to use your history in a background statement to show that you have learned from past mistakes.