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Virginia Court Records

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What are Virginia Juvenile Court Records?

In Virginia, a juvenile is someone below the age of 18 years. There are special courts reserved for handling juvenile cases in the state - Juvenile and Domestic District Relations Courts. They handle juvenile cases ranging from delinquent acts through criminal to traffic matters. The court also creates records for juveniles that need support and not necessarily for violation reasons. A crucial reason for generating and maintaining juvenile records is for early intervention of troubled youths. The Department of Juvenile Justice has records of juveniles in confinement. The state of Virginia provides an extensive of interpretations and guidelines regarding juvenile matters in the state’s law code.

What Information Is Contained In A Virginia Juvenile Record?

Juvenile records differ, depending on the reason for creating the record. Basic information common to all juvenile records in Virginia includes:

  • Identification number of the document
  • Full names of a juvenile
  • The date of the record
  • Identifying features such as sex, colour of eyes and hair, height, complexion, etc
  • Date of birth and residential address
  • District of jurisdiction
  • Statute number relevant to the case

What Cases Are Heard By Virginia Juvenile Court?

Some common cases heard in Virginia Juvenile and Domestic Courts are:

  • Juvenile delinquency cases
  • Juvenile crime
  • Children seeking emancipation or work permits
  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Crimes involving child victims
  • Matters involving juvenile abortion
  • Juvenile traffic violations
  • Status offenses
  • Child in need of supervision

Who Is Eligible To View Juvenile Records In Virginia?

In Virginia, juvenile records are not available to the public by law. An exception to the rule is the category of juvenile criminal records which are equivalent to adult felonies. Such records are open to the public. Even then, the judge can issue an order to seal some information within a record.

There are statutory exceptions to permit agencies to share information with other agencies pertaining to a juvenile to promote public safety. For example, the Virginia State Police under the Virginia code sub-section 19.2–381.9 may share limited information pertaining to firearms purchases, preparing trial and sentence reports, fingerprint comparisons, community-based probation services, commonwealth attorneys, individuals, parents of a juvenile involved, agencies or institutions with legitimate interests all under court order.

How to Find Juvenile Records in Virginia

Juvenile records range from records of adoptions, arrests, court proceedings and case files, incarceration records, to social services. Keep in mind that juvenile records are not easily accessible like every other public record. A visit to any of these custodian agencies will provide information about how to access a juvenile record. Unless the requester belongs to the eligibility bracket, he or she must get a court or executive order to access these records. Records of all court proceedings pertaining to a juvenile, for example, are available at the office of the Clerk of Court for the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. This includes civil and criminal juvenile records, adoption cases, and custody information. Use the Virginia Judicial System Directory to locate the court of interest. Arrest records available are the law enforcement agency responsible for the arrest of a juvenile. Rap sheets are generated by the Virginia state police. The Department of Juvenile Justice generates and maintains records of juveniles taken into custody or detention. It is important to have the basic identifying information for the record such as the case file number or ID, docket numbers if any, the names of the juvenile involved. Also have ready a proof of eligibility to access the juvenile record.

Can You Look Up Virginia Juvenile Records Online?

Juvenile records are not available online. This is in keeping with the law of confidentiality and privacy of information of young persons in the state. Juvenile cases where the involved child is guilty of a felony are put out in public space for safety and security. Such records are available like every other adult record.

Do Virginia Juvenile Records Show Up On Background Checks?

No. Cases of juvenile delinquency do not show up on background checks. Most of these records are subject to expungement when the individual reaches the age of 29 years. However, certain criminal records show up about a juvenile background check. Among them are high-level traffic violations such as Driving Under Influence (DUI) and Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). Also, if the crime committed by the juvenile equals a felony in adult criminal cases, they will be visible during a background check.

How Long Are Juvenile Records Kept In Virginia?

According to the Virginia State Code subsection 16.1–306, the courts are under mandate to remove juvenile delinquency records once a year for persons who have reached the age of 19 years. This is on the condition that it has been 5 years since the last adjudication of delinquency. Exceptions to the rule are juveniles tried in an adult criminal Court, or juveniles found guilty of a delinquent act that is a felony equivalent in adult criminal law. A driver’s abstract for a juvenile traffic violation gets expunged when the individual clocks the age of 29 years. Under the law of the State a juvenile record that does not qualify for auto expungement may be eligible for the same if the juvenile case was an acquittal, subject to nolle prosequi, or the courts judges that the continued existence of the record will make up an obvious injustice to the petitioner. Expungement of juvenile records relief the holder of any history of criminal convictions. To put it differently, the juvenile can deny ever being involved in a delinquency case. Note that sex offender registration records and crimes against children do not undergo expungement. The same rule applies to fingerprints and photographs submitted to the Central Criminal Records Exchange.

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