LOGAN – Those with a juvenile record have the opportunity to get their charges expunged for free at a clinic this Friday.
The Utah Juvenile Defender Attorneys and the Utah Board of Juvenile Justice are holding an expungement clinic Friday, August 23, from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. at the 1st District Courthouse at 135 North 100 West in Logan.
Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and at least one year has passed from the date of termination of Juvenile Court jurisdiction or termination for Youth Parole Authority. There are no fees for participants and all Utah judicial districts are eligible for review. Applicants must appear in person and provide a valid government-issued picture ID.
Pam Vickrey, Executive Director of Utah Juvenile Defender Attorneys said it’s important those with a juvenile record understand how that record can follow them into adulthood.
“Most people think if they have a juvenile record it goes away at 18 or it stays sealed or confidential, but that’s not true,” she explained.
Many college and job applications ask about juvenile records, and Vickrey said if the records are expunged, people can feel comfortable about how to answer those questions.
“A dumb decision when you were 15 years old shouldn’t follow you around for the rest of your life. People should be able to move on with their lives and not have those charges haunt them,” Vickrey said.
She continued by adding the whole goal of the juvenile court system is to intervene and help kids move forward. She said the legal assistance is offered pro bono by the attorneys who specialize in juvenile delinquency.
“Expungement is an imperative part for juveniles to move on and it’s often overlooked,” she said.
The clinic is part of an ongoing initiative funded by a grant through the Commission of Criminal and Juvenile Justice. Several more clinics will be offered over the next several months across the state of Utah. Vickrey said they are trying to make sure these clinics are easily accessible to everyone.
The process on Friday will take less than 30 minutes. Participants will meet with an attorney to check eligibility. Then an application is required, and fingerprints will be taken. The application will then go to a judge to review and be submitted. Vickrey said most people have to come back to court 60 days later to finalize the expungement, and while it is separate from this event, the person will still have that free legal representation at that hearing.
There is no need to register for the clinic. Future clinics will be held October 8, 2019 in West Jordan, December 6, 2019 in St. George and April 17, 2020 in Vernal.