Juvenile Records Law: Posted August 31, 2017
Updates to juvenile records laws go into effect on September 1, 2017. A section by section analysis is available in the 2017 Special Legislative Newsletter, posted under Resources on this site. The analysis begins on page 103. Highlights of the law are below.
- The records in the Juvenile Justice Information System may now be released only to criminal justice agencies, juvenile justice agencies, TJJD and the ombudsman for TJJD, DFPS for certain background checks, the military (with permission of the juvenile). Noncriminal justice agencies may access the records only if authorized by federal law or executive order.
- Restricted access has been repealed, since all juvenile records are now limited to being released only as described above.
- Juveniles referred for CINS and never referred for delinquent conduct are entitled to sealing at age 18 as long as they have no adult felony convictions and no pending adult charges (felony or jailable misdemeanor). The juvenile does not have to apply for this sealing.
- Juveniles referred for delinquent conduct (felony or misdemeanor) and never adjudicated and juveniles adjudicated for misdemeanor delinquent conduct but not felony delinquent conduct are entitled to sealing at age 19 as long as certain criteria are met, including no adult convictions or pending charges (felony or jailable misdemeanor). The juvenile does not have to apply for this sealing. Juveniles who were certified as adults are not eligible.
- Juveniles adjudicated for a felony and juveniles not eligible for sealing without application (as described above) may apply to the court for sealing if certain criteria are met. They must be at least 18 or, if not yet 18, at least 2 years must have passed since final discharge or last official action in every case. They must not have an adult felony conviction or pending adult charges (felony or jailable misdemeanor). Juveniles who were certified as adults or who were given a determinate sentence (probation or commitment) are not eligible. Juveniles subject to sex offender registration may apply once the duty to register has expired. Juveniles committed to TJJD or Travis County’s commitment program may apply once discharged. Juveniles may apply for sealing with or without an attorney.
The Sealing Orders have been updated and are available on this website. We hope to include an application for sealing soon.
TJJD has other resources available explaining the new law.