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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27752
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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If someone has a juvenile sealing order that specifically states

Resolved Question:

If someone has a juvenile sealing order that specifically states that they do not have to disclose the conviction to any agency and this record does not show up on an FBI background check and they apply for a job that specifically asks whether the person has any previous convictions "even if they have been sealed or expunged" as in the case where someone wants to be a teacher or lawyer, can the person state "no" because the sealing order says they can or must they disclose the sealed records?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 years ago.

Some states seal juvenile records tight as a drum and for all intents and purposes it does not constitute a crime. In other instances,criminal matters, even though sealed will turn up on a background check.

I can tell you that for something like law school, the standard for bar admission is present fitness. You can become a lawyer with a criminal conviction -- even an adult felony conviction -- so long as by the time your admission to the bar is being considered you have a solid and lengthy history of your complete rehabilitation. This means that what you did as a juvenile is a great deal less serious than any attempt as an adult to cover it up since a cover up -- no matter what your sealing order says -- would indicate a possible lack of good character.

If you are sure that this offense will not turn up on a full FBI print check, then you can rely on the sealing order and say no. Otherwise, the better position is to disclose with a note that it was a juvenile matter which was sealed..

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
So if it does not show up on the FBI print background check then I can be certain that it won't show up on a law school/bar exam background check?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 years ago.

I'm sorry for the delay. I was eating my dinner and didn't notice this reply coming through.

If you ordered a full fingerprint check from the FBI and it shows nothing then it's not going to turn up, because when Washington sealed it, they didn't turn it over as a criminal offense.

That's all there is, so if it's not there, there's no record. In that case, you ought to be able to rely on what Washington wrote on the sealing order and say that you have no criminal record. If the print check didn't go back far enough to check juvy records, that's another story. It still may be there. Then, I think the better course is to disclose.

You can get your full criminal history from the FBI here. if you're not sure the entire record was looked at.
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