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What Exactly Is Youthful Offender?

If you commit a violation, misdemeanor or a felony and the offense was committed between 18 and 21 you are eligible for Youthful Offender or YO. When you PLEAD GUILTY to a YO you are basically pleading guilty to being a juvenile delinquent (not the actual charge or offense). A YO plea or designation means that the court file is SEALED and cannot be seen by the public. The problem you may encounter is if you plead guilty and then are asked in the future if you were ever ARRESTED. Yes, you were arrested, AND it may be on the police computer database. The only vehicle we have to remove that event is an EXPUNGEMENT. Once an expungement action is granted the State of Alabama treats your crime as if it NEVER happened. All the police reports, court documents, computer files, mugshots, fingerprints and other government generated data are REMOVED from the law enforcement agency, prosecuting attorney and jail and stored in Montgomery. There is no record or file for anyone to see because the file is "gone."

You can ONLY get an expungement if your case was Dismissed or you were found NOT GUILTY. Pleading Guilty to a Youthful Offender charge means you admitted guilt. You cannot get that charge expunged at this time.

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