Why Expunge

Convictions and Applying to School

Do you have a conviction on your record that is hindering your educational opportunities? Use our Eligibility Engine to give us some information about your criminal record so we can help you pursue your education.

Getting an education can open up more opportunities for you, allowing you to get a better job and make more money. However, if you’ve made mistakes in the past and have a conviction, it could keep you from reaching these goals. 

Whether you have a conviction as a juvenile or an adult, it could impact your future. 

Contrary to popular belief, juvenile criminal records do not simply disappear when you turn 18. In fact, they can potentially stay on your record if you do not get a judicial order to seal and destroy records under the Welfare and Institutions Code 781 WIC. If granted, this order will prevent educational institutions from discriminating against you because of missteps that you took as an adolescent. 

When a petition to seal your juvenile records is granted, it effectively ensures that they are no longer made public (except for in extraordinary circumstances). You should not be held back from moving forward as an adult for a mistake you made when you were a kid.

Fortunately, California recognizes that most criminal acts committed in childhood should not stop you from pursuing an education and following your dreams. If you committed a crime while you were under the age of 18 and wish to have your record sealed, it is recommended that you connect with an experienced and skillful expungement attorney in Los Angeles.

How Can a Conviction Affect Your Education Goals?

A conviction can negatively affect your education goals in many ways. Some universities and colleges offer programs for those with criminal histories. However, this is more of the exception and not the norm. In many instances, a conviction (depending on the type) can hinder your chances of getting into the school that you desire. 

Getting into the school of your choice may be difficult if you have past convictions. Whether you get into school may be determined by the type of conviction on your record and the seriousness of the crime. 

Here are three different types of convictions and how they can impact your application process:


Citations are minor offenses that do not warrant a misdemeanor or felony charge. They are typically comprised of traffic offenses, noise ordinance violations, and other non-violent minor crimes and typically do not have much impact on a person’s record. Most educational institutions are not concerned with citations on your record unless they reveal a pattern. 


Misdemeanors are more serious crimes than citations but less severe than felonies. College admissions programs look at each case individually to determine whether or not an individual should be allowed entrance to the school. In many cases, universities will accept applicants with a misdemeanor on their record. However, if it was a violent offense, a sex crime, or a drug-related conviction, it can be grounds for denial or further investigation. If you have a misdemeanor, your record could impact your future.


Felonies are considered serious offenses and could have the biggest impact on your ability to get a higher education. Many educational institutions will have reservations about accepting students with felony convictions on their records. When you hire an expungement lawyer, you may be able to get your felony reduced to a misdemeanor and/or expunged from your record to help you get into school. Getting a degree can open doors to new opportunities and you shouldn’t be held back because of a past mistake. 

Will Juvenile Records Automatically Go Away When You Turn 18?

No. Unfortunately, the mistakes made as a juvenile will follow you into adulthood and could have a significant impact on your future. You will need to petition the courts to have your juvenile records sealed. You are eligible to have your juvenile records sealed under WIC 781 if the following criteria are met:

  • You are currently 18 years or older, or the juvenile court’s jurisdiction has terminated at least five years ago
  • You have not been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor that involves “moral turpitude”
  • The court believes that you are rehabilitated 
  • There are no current civil litigations brought against you as a result of your actions as a juvenile

If you meet these criteria, you should hire an expungement lawyer to help you get your records sealed. 

Convictions and the College Application Process

Applying to colleges and universities can be stressful, especially if you have a record. Your past conviction could determine whether or not you are accepted into a school, and this could impact future opportunities. 

As you apply for college, you will be asked questions about your criminal history. Technically, most juvenile convictions are not considered crimes by the letter of the law. However, since they still show up on your criminal record, it is recommended that you disclose any crimes that you were convicted of – unless your record has been sealed. 

It is important to be honest with your college admissions so they can help you as much as possible and guide you into a career that will accept certain convictions on your record. 

Convictions and Graduate School

Getting a graduate degree can open up even more opportunities, and you shouldn’t be barred from this either due to past convictions. 

You may be approved to enter into a graduate-level program with certain convictions on your record. However, that does not mean that you will be able to complete internships, lab work, or teaching hours as they all require background checks. This is especially true for those interested in being a teacher, lawyer, doctor, nurse, criminal justice professional, or other professional jobs. It is recommended that you speak with your program about placement opportunities for those with convictions to ensure that your chosen path is the right one for you. 

Get Your Education Going with an Expungement Attorney

Your education is important. It is one of the biggest factors in determining future net worth and career prospects. Although getting your record expunged and sealing juvenile records is different, in many ways, they have the same objective, and that is to ensure that you have a bright future unhindered by past mistakes. 
Working with an experienced expungement attorney at ExpungeAmerica can give you the fresh start that you need to pursue the education and career of your choosing. Do not allow your past to affect your future any longer. Give us a call at (844) 204-7222 or fill out an online form to schedule an appointment with a knowledgeable expungement lawyer to learn more about sealing your juvenile records today.