DESTRUCTION OF RECORDS

Dallas Criminal Lawyer

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Records generated when a child is taken into custody must be destroyed if the child is not referred to juvenile court within 10 days or has not been placed in an informal disposition or a first offender program.  Section 58.001(c) requires only the destruction of all records developed as a result of taking the child into custody.

When there is not an informal disposition or a first offender program, the deadline for destruction is the end of the year.  Where there is an informal disposition or a first offender program, the deadline for destruction is 90 days after completing the program.

Another instance in which juvenile records may be destroyed involves completed cases that have been previously sealed: Records of CINS cases of truancy, running away, expulsion referrals from schools, and fineable only misdemeanors referred by justice or municipal courts can be destroyed if the person is 21 years old and has not been convicted of a felony.

Automatic Restriction of Access

The Department of Public Safety must certify which records are subject to automatic restriction of access.  There are four criteria for automatic restriction:

  • The person is now at least 21 years of age
  • The juvenile cue did not include violent or habitual felony conduct
  • The juvenile case was not certified for adult trial; and
  • DPS has no report of the person having been convicted of a felony or jail able misdemeanor since turning 17.

Exempt from the automatic restriction process are : local sex offender registration records, and records relating to gangs and criminal combinations.

Once automatic restriction applies, a criminal justice agency may only obtain access to these records through Family Code Section 58.204(b)(1).

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