The MLO Minute
We all make choices we later regret. This is particularly true in adolescence and even more so for many children and teens with disabilities. The part of the brain that guides decision-making does not fully develop until we reach our 20s. What’s more, many common disabilities impact decision-making. ADHD can include symptoms of impulsivity and difficulty considering consequences. Autism often involves diminished social and communication skills, which can lead to difficulties appropriately navigating interpersonal situations. Mental health diagnoses can impact a youth’s ability to effectively manage his or her emotions. Whatever the reasons, teens make plenty of mistakes.
Sometimes those mistakes result in criminal charges and involvement with the juvenile justice system. In the juvenile justice system, the goal of all participants is supposed to be rehabilitation, precisely because of factors like those discussed above. Many young people and their support systems do not know, though, that in Delaware, juvenile charges continue to appear on their records, even if their cases were dropped. That is, unless those charges are expunged.
Expungement is the process by which arrests or convictions are removed from a person’s legal record, such that future searches will not reveal the charges. Over 25,000 people in the state of Delaware are eligible to seek an expungement of their juvenile record. Delaware’s Office of Defense Services is holding two upcoming Expungement Clinics – one in Dover on March 29, 2019 and one in Wilmington on April 4, 2019. These clinics are a great resource for anyone with a record seeking a fresh start. Please see the attached flyers below, or contact Alanna Farber at (302) 577-5120, for more details!