California Juvenile Records Automatically Sealed Upon Completion of Probation

Posted by Neil Shouse | Jan 25, 2018 | 0 Comments

The California State Legislature amended Section 786 of the Welfare and Institutions Code which now allows for juvenile records to be sealed automatically after the case is dismissed.  

Upon satisfactory completion of the probation terms, the court will dismiss the juvenile's case.  Once the case is dismissed, the judge orders that all records related to the dismissed case be sealed and then later destroyed. 


To "seal" your a juvenile record means the court closes your file so that the documents in it essentially cease to exist. They are no longer public records.  This means your case will no longer be assessable across all state government agencies including, the juvenile court, law enforcement agencies, the probation department, or the Department of Justice.

Upon the court's order of dismissal of the petition, the arrest and other proceedings in the case shall be deemed not to have occurred and the juvenile may reply accordingly to an inquiry by employers, educational institutions, or other persons or entities regarding the arrest and proceedings in the case.

However, juvenile records as to certain crimes in California are ineligible to be automatically sealed.  The court will not automatically seal the record  if one of the following crimes were committed when the juvenile was fourteen-years-old (14) or older:

  • murder
  • attempted murder
  • kidnapping
  • arson
  • robbery
  • rape with force, violence, or threat of great bodily harm*

*For an extensive list of crimes, please see Section 707 of the Welfare and Institutions Code

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.


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