As a parent, an arrest is one of the worst things you can see happen to your child. A criminal record is not only embarrassing for a child, it can potentially affect their future employment and education, which can be devastating. However, unlike adult criminal records, juvenile records are much more protected from the public eye, especially in Rhode Island.
Juvenile Criminal Records in Rhode Island
As soon as a juvenile is arrested, paper or electronic records are created. These records typically include police reports, charging documents, witness and victim statements, fingerprints, DNA samples, and court-ordered evaluations, as well as sensitive and personal information about a child’s family, education and personal life. While this information is necessary for the court to develop a plan for the child’s rehabilitation, it can also stigmatize a child if it is released to the public.
Fortunately, Rhode Island is one of nine states that fully protects juvenile records from the public (only the courts can see them). Without the use sealing or expungement, juvenile court records are automatically sealed upon the final disposition of a case if no information is filed, the case is dismissed, the juvenile is found not guilty, or upon completion of the sentence, including probation or parole. A person with only a juvenile record has no convictions and no arrests, in the eyes of the law.
However, if a minor is charged with a very serious crime, such as murder or rape, they may be transferred to adult court and subject to adult criminal penalties. In this case, their record will be made available to the public, unless it is sealed or expunged.
At The Law Office of Thomas C. Thomasian, Esq., we believe that every child deserves a second chance. Contact our Rhode Island criminal defense attorneys today so we can discuss your case and assist your family with available options to protect your child.
Call (401) 312-4385 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.