In West Virginia, the public is prohibited from viewing juvenile court records. In addition, most juvenile records are automatically sealed one year following your eighteenth birthday or one year after your case ends, whichever comes later. Unlike many other states, West Virginia does not require you to take any action to seal your record.
If your juvenile case was transferred to adult criminal court, your record will be sealed only if:
- you were acquitted
- the charges against you were dismissed, or
- you were found guilty of an offense other than the offense on which the transfer was based.
A sealed juvenile record may be viewed only by court order. Generally, sealed juvenile records are treated as though they never existed. You are not required to disclose information about your sealed juvenile record to anyone -- for instance, to colleges or potential employers.
(West Virginia Statutes § 49-5-18.)
Getting Legal Help
Clearing a criminal record can be complicated. If you are not sure whether your juvenile record qualifies for sealing in West Virginia, you should contact a qualified criminal law attorney. A good lawyer can review your personal circumstances and provide the advice you need.