A lot of people get into trouble with the law when they’re teens or even pre-teens. Fortunately, as long as the offense isn’t so serious that you’re tried as an adult, you typically don’t have to worry about a juvenile offense for which you were found to be guilty following you around for the rest of your life.
People are often concerned, however, that a juvenile offense could prevent them from getting a medical license. Some are afraid they could lose their license if their juvenile record were somehow to come to light.
What does Pennsylvania law say?
Under Pennsylvania law (specifically Act 53, Section 3114), “A board or commission may not consider a person’s juvenile adjudications.” The law states that a person applying for a medical license is not required to disclose any “juvenile adjudications.”
Even if someone doesn’t know they don’t have to disclose these adjudications when they apply for a license and they provide information about theirs, “the boards and commissions would be prohibited from considering those adjudications.” This is typically true for other types of professional licenses as well.
The confidentiality of juvenile records
There are two sets of juvenile records in Pennsylvania. One involves law enforcement records and the other is court records. They’re generally considered confidential and available only to a select group involved directly with the case. Confidential juvenile records can’t be provided to those doing a background check. Some juvenile records can be expunged, but because of their confidentiality, that’s often not necessary, as it may be for adult convictions.
A juvenile record typically shouldn’t prevent you from getting and keeping your license to practice medicine. However, if you are facing licensing issues due to that record – or to an adult criminal record – it’s wise to seek experienced legal guidance.