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The Office of
Defense Services

Juvenile Expungements

Clearing, or expunging, your juvenile record isn’t as easy as 1-2-3. For starters, there is a lot of misinformation about what an expungement is, who in Delaware is eligible, and what it means for future employment.

Below, are a few important facts and some basic questions about juvenile records and expungement in Delaware. Questions? Please fill out the form at the bottom of the page.

A special thank you to Dawn Mosley and Productions for Purpose for producing the above video.

FACT: Your record IS NOT automatically expunged and/or sealed when you turn 18

We’ve heard from many clients that they were advised, or thought, that their juvenile record would be sealed and/or automatically expunged when they turned 18. That couldn’t be further from the truth. A juvenile record is never destroyed in Delaware and is not automatically sealed. An expungement is the only way to remove juvenile arrests, charges, and adjudications of delinquency from a criminal background history.  

To be clear: If you are charged with a crime as a juvenile in Delaware, you must obtain an expungement to remove the arrests, charges, or adjudications from your record. There are two different types of expungements, which are explained below.

FACT: You do not need to check the box on job applications and/or other applications asking if you were convicted of a crime

Individuals with juvenile records, and only juvenile records, can answer truthfully that they were never convicted of a crime. Juveniles facing charges in Family Court are adjudicated delinquent or not delinquent. Adjudications of delinquency are not convictions. However, employers may still see any juvenile arrests, charges, or adjudications if they conduct a criminal background check and the record has not been expunged – and this may make finding a job more difficult in some cases.

Unsure if you’re eligible? Click here for a short survey.

Note: You will need your certified criminal history to complete the survey.

Want more information?

Click Juvenile Expungement Information Sheet on expungements and complete the form below.

  • The Office of Defense Services does not provide assistance with adult expungements.
  • Please contact the APEX program for more assistance.
  • More information is at the following link. Unsure if you are eligible?
  • Please visit the following link for an unofficial preliminary survey.
  • Note: This survey is not related to the ODS and you will need your certified criminal history to complete it.

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