The mistakes made in youth may follow the person into adulthood and cause a significant impact on future decisions. In Alabama, young people facing criminal charges have an option that may keep their future intact.
Alabama Code section 15-19-1 tries to help young people avoid the consequences of having a criminal record.
What is a youthful offender?
Alabama courts allow a person facing criminal charges to apply for the Youthful Offender status. If granted, the individual may see a reduction in penalties. To receive status, the defendant:
- Must be under 21
- Must be facing criminal charges
The defendant must also agree to a trial without a jury. If the court adjudges your child as a youthful offender, and the underlying offense is a felony, he or she may face:
- Jail time of up to three years
- Three years’ probation
- Suspension of the sentence with or without probation
- Fines, with or without probation, up to $1000
Will this affect college?
Having a Youthful Offender status may not affect your child getting in or remaining in college. It is important to remember that when filling out college or university applications, your child does not state conviction of a crime. Adjudication as a youthful offender is not a conviction.
Even if found guilty, the charge will not appear on the criminal record. Your son or daughter will keep civil liberties, with the right to vote and carry a firearm.
Under Alabama Code, fingerprints, photographs and other records are not open to the public unless the youthful offender gets treated as an adult sex offender. State of Alabama prosecutors may also have access to fingerprints and pictures in the court files, regardless of the original jurisdiction of the file.