Are crimes as minor, especially felonies, kept in your records? And would they affect your sentencing as an adult?

I am not asking about a specific jurisdiction, I just want to have a general idea.

  • 1
    Welcome to our community! However, you do indeed need to specify the jurisdiction for this type of question, which is why you've had 3 close votes already. Commented Jun 27, 2021 at 23:47
  • 3
    Weak disagreement - while the exact answer depends on jurisdiction, general questions (about concepts shared across jurisdictions) do seem valid to me. For example, as pointed out in the top-voted answer to When would a legal question need not include jurisdiction?: "A question need not specify a jurisdiction unless the question does not make sense without one". And asking for a "general idea" does seem to make sense to me.
    – sleske
    Commented Jul 5, 2021 at 9:08

1 Answer 1


As pointed out in comments, the exact answer depends on the jurisdiction, and on the nature of the crime(s).

As a general statement:

  • In many jurisdictions, old criminal records are sealed (=made less available), or even completely deleted after some time. The timespan will depend on many factors, particularly (but not only) on the number and severity of the crimes. Extremely serious crimes may never be sealed/deleted. Sometimes the sealing/deletion may be automatic, sometimes only at the request of the perpetrator, and there may be additional conditions.
  • As an extension of the above, some jurisdictions have special rules for criminal records created while the perpetrator was a minor. Some time spans may be shortened, or minor crimes may be excluded.

So, to directly answer the question:

Yes, crimes as minor may be kept in your records and influence sentencing as an adult, or they may not - it depends.

That is about all you can say in general.

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