U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

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.