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What is New York’s youthful offender status?

If your teen has been arrested for a crime in New York, you may be concerned about the possible penalties, as well as the potential effects on your child’s future. However, there are options available, such as youthful offender status, that may help protect your teen. Being treated as a youthful offender may give your teen the chance to pay for his or her mistakes, and then overcome them.

According to the New York State Unified Court System, to be treated as a youthful offender, your teen must have been between the ages of 14-years-old and 18-years-old when the crime was committed. Additionally, he or she cannot have had any prior convictions, nor can he or she have been previously treated as a youthful offender.

Youths accused of serious violent offenses and other felony crimes who meet the necessary requirements are not guaranteed youthful offender status. Rather, it may be given at the discretion of the judge.

There are several benefits to receiving youthful offender status. Even if the result of a felony offense, youthful offender records are not criminal records and they are automatically sealed. Further, if your teen is treated as a youthful offender, he or she will not be required to report these records as criminal convictions on their school or employment applications. Unlike some criminal convictions, being granted this status does not disqualify teens from holding public jobs or serving in public office, regardless of the offense they are convicted of.

The information included in this post is intended for general purposes only and is not meant as legal advice.