In Hawaii, you may request that your juvenile arrest record be expunged -- that is, segregated from official files or completely destroyed -- under the circumstances described below. However, even juvenile records that do not qualify for expungement are considered confidential in Hawaii and are, therefore, automatically sealed. Juvenile court records can be accessed only in very limited circumstances, and only by court order. (Hawaii Statutes § 571-84.) You are not required to tell others about your expunged or sealed juvenile court record.
For adult criminal records, see Criminal Record Expungement in Hawaii.
Does Your Arrest Record Qualify for Expungement?
You can ask a court to expunge your juvenile arrest record if one of the following are true:
- The police did not refer the matter to the prosecuting attorney or the family court and released you without counseling.
- The police did not refer the matter to the prosecuting attorney or the family court, but counseled you before releasing you, and you have since become an adult.
- The police referred the matter to the prosecuting attorney or the family court, but you were adjudicated not responsible or the matter was dismissed with prejudice.
(Hawaii Statutes § 571-88.)
How to File
If you meet the requirements above, you may file a petition for expungement with the Hawaii Family Court in the circuit where your juvenile case was handled. For more information and the necessary forms, contact the court clerk’s office.
Getting Legal Help
Clearing a juvenile record can be complicated. If you are not sure whether your record qualifies for expungement in Hawaii -- or whether it makes sense to apply for expungement even if you can -- you should contact a qualified criminal law attorney. A good lawyer can guide you each step of the way.