Juvenile Record Sealing

Judge's GavelIf you were arrested or involved in a court case or had contact with the juvenile justice system when you were under 18, the courts, police, schools, or other public agencies may have records about what you did. If you are able to get those records sealed, it could be easier for you to find a job, get a driver’s license, get a loan, rent an apartment, or go to college.

When the court seals your records, it means that your court case no longer exists. This means that you can legally and truthfully say you do not have a criminal record when someone asks about your criminal history (there may be an exception to this if you want to join the military or get a federal security clearance).

Where can I get a record sealing application?

You can pick up an application from our office:

Merced County Juvenile Office
1880 Wardrobe Avenue
Merced, California 95341

Where can I submit my record sealing application?

Your record sealing application can be mailed to: Merced County Juvenile Probation Department, 1880 Wardrobe Avenue, Merced, California 95341. Applications may also be submitted in person at the Merced County Juvenile Probation Department. 

What gets sealed?

Your record-sealing application is a request to the court to seal any juvenile records of arrest that are in the custody of the Juvenile Court, Probation Department, and any other agencies, including law enforcement and public officials that you (the petitioner) allege in your petition to have custody of the records.  It is important that you report all contacts with arresting agencies or police departments because, if your application is approved, all agencies known to have your record will receive an order to seal. If you fail to report a contact, however minor the offense, it is possible that a portion of your juvenile record may not be sealed.

Please note: If, at any time, you were a ward of the Court, you must petition to have your record sealed in the county in which wardship was dismissed. The Merced County Probation department cannot petition to seal the records of the Juvenile Court in any other state; therefore, record sealing outside of California must be petitioned to that state directly.

How long does the record sealing process take?

Probation begins the Investigative process upon receipt of your record- sealing application. The Investigation process takes approximately six (6) to eight (8) weeks. Upon completion of our investigation process, Probation sends the petition to the court.  The court holds the petition for 10 days to see if the District Attorney’s Office opposes the request and then the petition is given to the Judge for review. Once the sealing request is granted, the Court must notify all agencies listed on the petition. The length of time required for the Courts to receive their compliance orders from the differing agencies varies. Status requests and questions regarding your case should be directed to the Juvenile Court Clerk’s office, (209) 725-4119. 

For additional information regarding Record Sealings please review the Record Sealing Info Packet.

Additional Resources