The Office of
Defense Services

Have a juvenile record? Need it expunged? It’s not as easy as 1-2-3.

Obtaining an expungement is tricky. Especially if you have a juvenile record.

Under current Delaware law there are a variety of charges and scenarios that eliminate expungement as a possibility. Below is one.

You’ve cleaned your life up after making a few mistakes as a kid. You’ve never re-offended and you’re well into adulthood. But you have a certain felony adjudication on your record, say Robbery 1st. Or maybe a misdemeanor adjudication and two separate felony adjudications, like Disorderly Conduct, Theft > $1,500 and Conspiracy 2nd. Sorry, but under Delaware law you’re out of luck.

A criminal record has proven to be a barrier for people trying to re-enter the workforce, gain an education, or find stable housing. Obtaining an expungement, if eligible, removes those barriers.

The Office of Defense Services is trying to make it easier to obtain a juvenile expungement. Last year we worked with lawmakers to pass a bill that would make it easier for juveniles to get some charges expunged. Still, Delaware lags behind other states. The Philadelphia-based Juvenile Law Center gave Delaware low marks for its expungement statutes.

In the below public service announcement, produced by WITN22, Assistant Public Defender Sam Lukoff explains the importance of gaining an expungement and what we’re doing to make it easier.

On March 27, the Office of Defense Services, as well as several partner organizations, will be hosting an expungement clinic in Kent County. Pre-registration is required, but the clinic will provide one-on-one opportunities for people to receive guidance on how to obtain an expungement or a pardon.

For those with juvenile records and in need of financial assistance, the Delaware Center for Justice is raising money to cover the $52 fee needed to obtain certified criminal records. Want to help cover the cost for a juvenile? Donate here.

A youthful indiscretion doesn’t need to be a life sentence. Help us help you.