How to ask to seal a juvenile record
To ask to seal your juvenile record, you fill out and turn in a form to the probation department or court where your case was processed. The probation department will review your form and then turn it to the court with a recommendation. Then, a judge will decide whether to seal your record. The whole process takes at least 3 months, often longer.
Before you start
Contact the probation department in the county where your case happened for local instructions
Generally, sealing juvenile records works the same in every county. But, in some counties, the probation department or court may have extra forms for you to fill out.
Fill out form
Fill out a Request to Seal Juvenile Records (form JV-595) or any other forms that your local court or probation department gave you.
The probation department should be able to help you identify your records, but you can also get a copy of your criminal history from the California Department of Justice if you provide your fingerprints and pay a fee. The court can order each agency on your list to seal your records.
Bring form to probation department or court
Generally, you turn the form into the probation department in the county where you have a juvenile record. In a few counties, you'll need to bring it to the court instead.
Probation turns form into court after review
The probation department has 90 days (180 if you have records in more than 1 county), to file your request with the court along with a list of
- Who might have a record of your case
- Any prior contacts with law enforcement or probate
Judge makes a decision
The court will review your application. The judge may decide right away. Or the judge may order a hearing.
If there is a hearing, you will receive a notice in the mail with the date and time of the hearing. If the Notice says your hearing is “unopposed,” it means no one is opposing your request and you can decide not to go to the hearing without penalty.
If the judge grants your request (orders the records sealed), the court will send an order to seal the records to all of the agencies involved in your case. The court may also order the records destroyed by a certain date.