Is a Youthful Offender designation considered a conviction?

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Is a Youthful Offender designation considered a conviction?

I’ve wanted to go into law enforcement for a long time but made a stupid mistake and shoplifted, as well as used a false name because I panicked. It was the only time I have ever done anything so stupid. I’m so sorry and can’t regret it enough but am scared about being able to work in law enforcement now.

Asked on October 21, 2015 under Criminal Law, Alabama

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Youthful Offender Act proceedings are not “criminal” in nature, therefore, an adjudication and grant of youthful offender status is not a conviction as that term is used in relation to criminal law.  The Youthful Offender Act is designed to protect people under the age of 21 from the harsheness of criminal conviction. It is designed to provide them with the benefits of a confidential and rehabilitative process.
Further, Youthful Offender status does not: disqualify the youth from public office or public employment, operate as a forfeiture of any right or privilege, (3) make them ineligible to receive any license granted by public authority, act as a conviction of a crime; allow the record to be open for public inspection (except upon permission of the court).   


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