How can my record get in the way of my future?

Having a juvenile record can get in the way of your future plans. Here are some examples of how your juvenile record can limit your opportunities after your case is closed.


In Court

Your record may be used against you if you are in court again. If you are being charged in juvenile court, the district attorney can tell the court about your juvenile record. If you are currently an adult or are being charged as one, the district attorney can tell the court about your juvenile record to increase your sentence.


If you are applying for a job, the employer may do a background check. Most juvenile records are not open to the public. But, the ones that are can be seen by employers or anyone else. Because adjudications of delinquency are not the same as criminal convictions, employers are not supposed to consider your record at all. But, they may still deny your employment because of a juvenile record. If that happens, you may have some rights so you should seek legal advice.

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Drivers License

Your driver’s license can be suspended or revoked if you were adjudicated delinquent for a drug offense, terroristic threats at school, underage drinking, using a fake I.D., being truant from school, or a felony offense involving a car—like racing on highways, careless driving, driving without lights on to avoid identification or arrest, or car accidents involving damage to a vehicle or property.

Applying For College

Many colleges ask about juvenile records. The Common App, which over 600 schools use, currently asks a question about offenses whether you were adjudicated. Some colleges only ask you about felony convictions. Remember adjudications are not convictions.

Child Welfare

If you have a juvenile record and your child has been removed from your home by DHS, the court may decide that because of your offense it is not in your child’s best interests to return to your care. You may also be at risk for not being approved as a foster parent or adoptive parent.

Military Service

The Pennsylvania State Police’s records are always available to military officials. Military recruiters look at juvenile records when deciding whether to allow someone to enroll in the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps.

Possession of a Firearm

You may not be eligible to purchase or own a firearm if you were adjudicated delinquent of an offense that involved a weapon, involving the death or danger to children, or driving under the influence.