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A Juvenile Defender's Guide to Conquering Collateral Consequences

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2018
4 pages

Since collateral consequences can result from a youth's arrest, dismissed petitions, and adjudications, this guide for juvenile defenders addresses the importance of a defense attorney's understanding and addressing the collateral consequences that pertain to her/his jurisdiction.


The guide addresses 13 potential collateral consequences that can face a juvenile because of his/her contact with the juvenile justice system. After explaining how each collateral consequence can impair a juvenile's socioeconomic future, defense attorneys are provided guidelines for actions to take in defending a juvenile from being harmed by each of the 13 collateral consequences. The 13 collateral consequences addressed are 1) public access to some of a juvenile's confidential information, which may be available for background checks by employers, landlords, or colleges; 2) local public education, which may include trouble in re-enrolling in school or transferring credits; 3) higher education, since some juvenile adjudications may disqualify a youth from receiving federal student loans; 4) driver's licenses, since most states allow judges to suspend a youth's driver's license as part of their disposition; 5) public benefits, which may involve a youth's family being denied various types of government assistance for needy families; 6) housing, which may involve disqualification for federal public housing; 7) employment, since applicants convicted of a crime are at greater risk for being denied some employment; 8) U.S. military service, which may be denied youth arrested for certain offenses; 9) adult sentencing of a juvenile, which handicaps a youth in future juvenile or criminal proceedings; 10) immigration status, which may be adversely affected by juvenile proceedings; 11) denial of firearm possession, which may limit opportunities for jobs that may require firearms; 12) sex offender registration; and 13) fines, fees, and restitution, whose nonpayment may trigger adverse consequences for probation, record clearance, and financial credit.

Date Published: October 1, 2018