Sealing a Juvenile Offender Record
The Laws regarding the sealing of juvenile records have changed a great deal over the last several years. The information provided below is meant to be a general introduction to a topic that can be complicated. If after reading this information you have specific questions regarding your own case, you should consider contacting a lawyer. Also please remember that court staff and officials are not permitted to give you legal advice.
Record Sealing Information
- The Cowlitz County Juvenile Department maintains records of cases where the offense was committed in Cowlitz County or where the legal case was transferred to Cowlitz County after guilt was found in another county. The original County will need to be contacted to request that their record be sealed.
- Each Juvenile Court File has its own case number and record so each case has to be treated separately. Some of these Court Files may be eligible for sealing while others may not. Some may have already been sealed through the Administrative Hearing process or the Deferred Disposition Process.
- Generally a Juvenile Court Case Record is not eligible for sealing if any of the following is true:
- You have a pending criminal charge as a juvenile or adult including warrants
- Your record is for any of the following offenses.
- Rape 1
- Rape 2
- Indecent Liberties with case of actual Forcible Compulsion
- You owe restitution to anyone in the case other than an insurance company.
- You are still required to register as a sex offender.
- If your record is for an A felony and it has been 5 years or less since your conviction or release from confinement and/or if you have been convicted of another crime within that 5 years.
- If your record is for a B Felony, C Felony, Gross Misdemeanor, Misdemeanor or diversion and it has been 2 years or less since your conviction or release from confinement and/or you have been convicted of another crime within that 2 years.
If you have questions about the criteria for record sealing review the Guide to Sealing and Destroying Records or look up RCW 13.50.260 or consult with an attorney.
Sealing Court files requires a court hearing but before it gets to court you must complete documents, file documents and notify agencies. Our office can give you information about your cases but you are responsible for completing and forwarding all the required documents.
Record Sealing Procedures
Come to the Cowlitz County Juvenile Department and request the Record Sealing Request Form. If you do not have specific information about your offense and court dates you might have to return to our office at a later date so the information can be gathered for you. This will be explained to you when you come in. Once you complete the Request Form you will be given instructions and a packet of forms needed to complete the process. Also remember that you will need to present photo identification to receive information concerning your record.