The Shocking Impact of a Juvenile Felony Conviction: How it Will Change Your Life

Posted by Casey Alexander | Dec 14, 2023 | 0 Comments

Many parents assume that as long as a child is under the age of 18, any crimes they commit will not affect their futures. This represents an extremely misguided belief. Although it is true that courts exercise a certain level of leniency when dealing with crimes committed by juveniles, the mercy of the criminal justice system is not limitless. A juvenile felony has the potential to drastically alter the trajectory of a child's life – posing numerous issues throughout their future. It is important for parents to consider the potential implications of these felonies as they assess defense strategies for their children. 

Isn't a Juvenile Crime Wiped From One's Criminal Record?

While it is true that many juvenile crimes are expunged or “wiped” from a person's criminal record, this is far from guaranteed. The criminal court has complete discretion over when this might occur, and it might neglect to expunge juvenile offenses for several reasons. Generally speaking, serious offenses are not expunged, and they may remain on the child's record for the rest of their life. These serious offenses might include:

  • Homicide

  • Vehicular homicide

  • Sex crimes

In addition, repeat offenders may struggle to have their juvenile felonies expunged – even if they were not of a violent or sexual nature. 

Furthermore, juveniles might have to wait many years before their felonies are finally expunged from their records. The time limit only begins when criminal court proceedings have completely concluded. This means that if the trial itself drags on for several years, it is possible for juvenile felonies to remain on your child's record well into their mid-to-late 20s. 

Juvenile Felonies Can Cause Educational Problems

Juvenile felonies can affect a child's educational opportunities in several different ways. First of all, schools may expel students once they become aware of their criminal convictions. The principal of a high school may conclude that your child represents a risk to other children, and they may not want to deal with the “controversy” of having a felon attending classes. In addition, principals may come under immense pressure from concerned parents to expel juvenile felons.

Even if a child manages to graduate from high school with a felony on their record, they may struggle to experience post-secondary education opportunities. Many colleges and universities check to see whether applicants have criminal records. They may have a policy of rejecting students based on these criminal records – even if the child has an excellent academic record. 

Losing academic opportunities may prevent your child from earning the qualifications necessary to pursue success in the future – possibly leading to struggles with low income and further criminal activities. 

Juvenile Felonies Can Make it Difficult to Drive

Juvenile felons may struggle to obtain driving licenses with their criminal records. This is especially true if your child's crime involved an auto accident or a traffic offense. For example, they might have committed a hit-and-run, a DUI, or vehicular manslaughter. A felony conviction can prevent them from driving for many years – potentially leading to challenges in their careers, social lives, and much more. 

Juvenile Felonies Can Affect Career Opportunities 

Perhaps most notably, a felony conviction can severely affect a child's future career opportunities. It is no secret that many employers conduct mandatory criminal record checks before hiring new workers. A felony conviction may prevent your child from pursuing meaningful, high-paying employment in the future. They may be stuck with low-paying, unfulfilling jobs for many years as they struggle to have their felony convictions expunged. Ultimately, this can tempt a felony to re-enter a life of crime – causing a downward spiral that quickly accelerates out of control. 

Juvenile Felonies Can Affect Future Relationships

Anyone can carry out a criminal background check on an individual. Although these checks might cost a few dollars, one can simply enter someone's name into an online database and determine whether an individual has committed crimes in the past. This might affect a felon's ability to form relationships, as people often want to avoid having anything to do with convicted felons. 

Juvenile Felonies Can Affect Immigration Status

If the juvenile is an immigrant, a felony can easily lead to deportation. This occurs fairly regularly in the United States, and a juvenile might be forcibly separated from their family after a felony conviction. A past conviction also increases the chances of deportation for any future offenses. Suddenly, a juvenile may find themselves in a country with a much lower standard of living, fewer opportunities, and greater crime rates. 

Juvenile Felonies Can Increase the Chances of Future Crimes

As previously noted, past felonies can increase the chances of future crimes. If a juvenile is incarcerated, they may come into contact with other criminals. This might cause them to join gangs, discuss new criminal opportunities, and sink deeper into a life of crime. Faced with the future issues of a criminal record (including lack of employment opportunities), many juveniles feel that they have no choice but to fully embrace a career as a criminal. 

Juvenile Felonies Can Affect Mental Health

Juvenile felonies may also affect a child's mental health. Imprisonment, the stress of a trial, and many other factors can cause a range of psychological issues. These include PTSD, substance abuse, depression, and much more. 

Juvenile Felonies Can Affect Entire Families

Finally, a juvenile felony can affect entire families. The family may find it difficult to secure reliable housing after a conviction, as landlords may choose not to accept tenants who have criminal children. 

Get in Touch with a Juvenile Defense Attorney in Colorado

If you have been searching for a juvenile defense attorney in Colorado, look no further than Casey James Alexander. Our juvenile defense attorneys understand that juveniles need a strong defense. After all, the very futures of these young individuals are at risk. Assuming that the court will be lenient on your child is an incredibly dangerous game, and it does not make sense to gamble with their future opportunities. To get started with a targeted defense strategy on your child's behalf, reach out today and book a consultation

About the Author

Casey Alexander

  YOUR ATTORNEY CASEY ALEXANDER Founding Attorney Prior to becoming an attorney Casey served in the United States Navy.  Now he serves the people of Northern Colorado and advocates for their legal needs. Bar Admissions Colorado PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS 01 Larimer County Bar ...


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