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Old Thu Sep 26, 2019, 11:20am
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Originally Posted by ajmc View Post
I was under the impression "Juvenile Records" are usually sealed, and are NOT carried forward into the adult world. However actions such as this SHOULD INCLUDE consequences designed to discourage repetition, and be directly related to the seriousness of the behavior.
Several things to consider in this case. Different states have different definitions of what a juvenile is? The age of the actor is, or can be a determining factor. In Michigan, if he is 16 years old, it can be handled in either the juvenile or adult court system, based on the decision of the prosecutor and then motions and decisions by the attorneys and judge. If he is 17 or 18 years old, the charge would be heard in adult court.

Juvenile records are indeed almost always sealed records. It takes very special circumstances for those records to be used in an adult court setting. Adult criminal cases can be different based on the law.

A case like this, if it happened in Michigan, could result or not result in a permanent public record (although with the media coverage of criminal cases, it is still "public"). Michigan has a law known as the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act which allows an individual 17-23 years old to be charged and plea bargain a case in adult court, and be sentenced in adult court, but not left with a permanent public record (as it would appear on a background check). The law still allows the judge to sentence the individual as they would under normal circumstances, but the case is not put into the public record. If the guilty party completes the sentence as required, the case is dropped from most public records. (Some records, such as for use by people apply to law enforcement jobs are still kept in the record).

This law basically allows someone who does something stupid as a young adult to avoid having the case permanently scar their life. A good example of this is a high school football player headbutting an official at a game. Certainly legal consequences are required, but it should not be something that a 30 or 40 year old man, who has otherwise lived a clean life, should be hampered by.
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