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Mississippi Court Records

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What are Mississippi Juvenile Court Records?

In the State of Mississippi, juvenile records are the documents that contain information concerning the delinquency of persons who are below the age of 18, and therefore regarded as a young person, juvenile, or child. Accused persons under the legal adult age are charged to the state’s youth court. A young person found guilty of a misdemeanor is not considered convicted of a crime; rather, such a person is found ‘adjudicated delinquent.’ The Mississippi State Youth Court has the responsibility of hearing all cases of delinquencies, abuse, neglect of a child, dependent child, and a child’s supervision. The documenting and maintaining records of cases concerning the delinquencies of young people are done through the court’s administrative office.

What information is contained in the Mississippi Juvenile Record?

Juvenile records include information on the juvenile. This record contains the offender’s personal information, including the name, age, date of birth, and all relevant personal information that can help supervise and rehabilitate the child. The record also contains reports of the arresting agency, charges against the juvenile, witness and victim statements, court evaluation, sentencing, and release date. The youth court disclosure policy does not allow any part of this record to be made public without a court order. The information in the document is only made for statistical purposes.

A young person who is declared delinquent is not photographed; neither is such a person fingerprinted except when charged with a felony or charged with the possession and use of a dangerous weapon. When a young person is accused of the above crime, such a case is removed from the youth court and taken to a proper trial court. Records in this category are opened for access to members of the public.

What Cases are Heard by Mississippi Juvenile Courts?

All matters that concern persons below 18 years of age are heard at the Mississippi Youth Court. The youth court is charged with the responsibility of hearing matters that involves;

a) Offenses committed by a young person defined by law as a person, not older than18 and not younger than 7. According to the Youth Court, offenses committed by a child can be divided into three groups;

I. Habitual disobedience to parents or guardians.

II.Habitual disobedience to school authority by violating school rules.

III. Absconding from home for no serious reason.

b) Matters that relate to or involve the abuse of juveniles.

The court is responsible for hearing all cases of a misdemeanor committed by young people. All crimes contained in the Mississippi Statutes Code Title 97 engaged by a person not older than 18 are considered delinquency by the Youth Court. However, some offenses that are considered severe, like murder, armed robbery, possession or use of a deadly weapon, etc., are not tried at the Youth Court. This is because they are not adjudicated delinquent; rather, they are treated as criminal offenses are heard at a trial court. A child above 13 years charged with any severe crime is tried as an adult and convicted if found guilty. The youth court is presided by the judge; it is not opened to the public, and cases are tried without a jury.

Who is Eligible to View Juvenile Records in Mississippi

Based on section 43–21–261 of the Mississippi Statutes Code, public members are not eligible to view juvenile records. The following are the group of people who are eligible to view juvenile records;

● Law enforcement agencies such as the Judges and members of the Youth court

● Social agencies such as the Department of Child Protection, the Department of Employment Security

● Agencies carrying out researches must obtain permission to access the records from the Youth Court Judge

● The parent, guardian, or legal counsel to the child or young person

● The Prosecuting counsel

● An appointed guardian also referred to as a Court- Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)

● The Child

Meanwhile, Law enforcement agencies have the legal right to disclose information concerning the juvenile on delinquency to the public without obtaining an order or permission from the Youth Court Judge. However, any information disclosed does not reveal the child’s identity, neither should it reveal such juvenile’s residential location except the child is being convicted of a severe crime such as felon or murder, in which case is convicted as an adult.

Juvenile cases involving child custody may be disclosed to state residents by law enforcement agencies. In such instances, an order from the youth court may not be required. The information released shall not identify the child or his address unless it involves a child convicted as an adult.

How to Find Juvenile Records in Mississippi

According to the Youth’s Court Disclosure Policy, Juvenile criminal records are usually confidential. Records involving young people cannot be disclosed unless authorized by the Youth Court. But, the record holder can have access to the file. Access to juvenile records can be processed through the Department of Public Safety. An interested person must get authorization from the juvenile in question. The permission is given when the juvenile in question fills and submits the form.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that the person resides in or was accused of.

Third-party sites are independent of government sources and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

Can you Lookup Mississippi Juvenile Records Online?

No, juvenile records in the state cannot be found online. The Disclosure Policy has made it impossible for anyone to lookup Mississippi juvenile records online. Other severe juvenile cases and convictions can be assessed online.

Do Mississippi Juvenile Records Show up on Background Checks?

Juvenile records in Mississippi may not show up on background checks. Adjudicated misdemeanors are not usually included in a person’s criminal history, except the offense is a felon or a murder. However, an offender should ensure that records are expunged so that documents are forever erased and that there is no possibility of such misdemeanor showing up in any background check.

● To get juvenile records to expunge, an offender must;

● Be a first-time offender.

● Not have committed a traffic offense like DUI.

● Not have committed a felon or other severe offenses.

● Prove to have changed by putting up good behaviors.

The first process is to get the rap sheet from the Mississippi Department of Health to expunge juvenile records. After that, the juvenile should obtain an affidavit in support of the motion to order the expungement of juvenile record from the District Court due to the dismissal of charges.

How Long are Juvenile Records Kept in Mississippi?

Once the child is 20, the records are automatically sealed, especially in the cases of juveniles who are found ‘adjudicated delinquent.’ Also, when a young person is tried and not found delinquent, such a record is sealed. Crimes committed by young people convicted rather than found delinquent are considered criminal records and therefore may not be sealed.

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