SPECIAL TREATMENT FOR JUVENILES UNDER VIRGINIA LAW
Crimes by Juveniles are prosecuted as delinquency acts in Virginia Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts. Juveniles are defined by their age for purposes of prosecution – 17 and under – minors. But being a kid doesn’t stop you from being prosecuted as an adult for serious crimes.
- SEALED PROCEEDINGS
The records and information pertaining to juvenile proceedings are private and the general public is not permitted to access the information.
- SCHOOL NOTICE
When a juvenile has been charged with certain crimes, the government will provide notice of the charges to the superintendent of the juvenile’s school.
- COLLEGE / UNIVERSITY NOTICE
Colleges frequently require information on juvenile charges and convictions, both prior to admission and even after acceptance.
- JUVENILE MISDEMEANOR CONSEQUENCES
Juvenile misdemeanor convictions can result in a license suspension for a juvenile. Certain offenses, such as possession of alcohol, possession of marijuana, or truancy, require that a juvenile’s license, or opportunity to obtain a license, be suspended.
- JUVENILE FELONY PROCEDURE
If a juvenile is 14 years of age or older, he can be tried and punished as an adult for felony charges. Juveniles over the age of 14 who are convicted of felonies will permanently be deprived of their privilege to own a firearm weapon for self defense. As explained previously, felony juvenile records don’t disappear. Convicted felons, including juveniles, get a permanent adult record.
- INCARCERATION UPON CONVICTION
If convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony, a child may be sentenced by the court to remain incarcerated in the Juvenile Detention Facility or committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice until he or she reaches the age of 21. In some cases as described above, a juvenile can be certified as an adult, and then convicted as an adult as well. If convicted in such a case, the juvenile will be subject to the same incarceration penalties as an adult.
COMMON JUVENILE OFFENSES
- Alcohol crimes:DUI / DWI (Virginia Laws 18.2-266), Underage drinking / minor in possession of alcohol (Virginia Laws 4.1-305)
- Traffic crimes: Reckless driving (Virginia Laws 46.2-862 and 46.2-852), DUI / DWI (Virginia Laws 18.2-266)
- Theft crimes: Shoplifting / altering price tags / grand larceny / concealing / burglary / robbery (Virginia Laws 18.2-95, 18.2-96, 18.2-103)
- Gang crimes: Gang-related activities and violence (Virginia Laws 18.2-46.2)
ARE JUVENILE RECORDS IN VIRGINIA SEALED OR OPEN?
Virginia Juvenile records, charges, and convictions do not get sealed immediately, nor do they disappear. For this reason, pleading guilty or paying a ticket without fighting it in court will not make your charge go away.
FELONY: A Virginia juvenile felony conviction will remain on your criminal record for the rest of your life.
MISDEMEANOR: A Virginia juvenile misdemeanor conviction will be administratively removed from your criminal record eventually – five years after the offense is committed OR after a juvenile turns 19 years old, whichever is later.
TRAFFIC: Traffic criminal offenses in Virginia committed by juveniles, such as a DUI or reckless driving, can remain on the DMV record until the age of 29.
This article is for your personal information only and is not intended as legal advice. Nothing herein shall create an attorney – client relationship. This area of the law is very complex. Every case is different and the information contained herein is general. This information is not intended to be legal advice. Nor is this material intended to replace consultation with a lawyer. Always consult a licensed lawyer for your particular case. Call 703.870.6868 for a consultation.