Expunging a Juvenile Record in Illinois

courtHaving a criminal record as a minor can adversely affect your future in every way. If you are a juvenile offender, you may be able to clear your record by having your court record expunged. Named a “Top 100 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer” by the National Trial Lawyers Association, Chicago expungement attorney John D. Ioakimidis understands the nuances of this area of law and can help you understand your legal rights and options.

An expungement means that all records of your case are completely removed and destroyed from all files under the government’s control. In other words, expungement is like “wiping the slate clean.” In certain cases, minors may be eligible to have their records expunged. A juvenile record includes fingerprints, photographs, arrest reports, and computer entries connecting a person arrested prior to their 18th birthday with an arrest or juvenile criminal court case.

In Illinois, any case prosecuted in juvenile court other than first-degree murder and felony sex offenses may be expunged. Certain requirements, however, must be met to be eligible for a juvenile expungement. If you were placed under arrest prior to your 18th birthday, but the matter did not go to court, police departments are required to automatically expunge the record of your arrest if you have not been arrested since then, and one full year has gone past since you were arrested. The exception to this rule is if you were placed under arrest for a sex crime or any class 2 or higher felony.

If you were placed under arrest, and the matter went to court, but one of the following took place, the court record as well as the police record will automatically be expunged within 60 business days:

  • You were arrested but not charged with a crime;
  • You were found “not delinquent” (i.e., not guilty), and no petition of delinquency was filed;
  • The charges were dismissed;
  • You effectively completed “supervision”; or
  • You were found delinquent of a Class B or Class C misdemeanor or municipal ordinance violation.

If you were deemed guilty of a crime, your juvenile record will automatically be expunged two years after the matter has closed, unless it is a disqualifying offense. There is quite a high number of disqualifying offenses, examples of which include aggravated battery, robbery, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, and more.

If you were convicted of a Class A misdemeanor or felony as an adult, you may still qualify for an expungement in limited cases if the following requirements are met:  you are at least 21 years old, you have not been convicted of any crime since your 18th birthday, and at least five years have passed since the conclusion of your last juvenile court proceeding.

If you want to know more about your options regarding expunging or sealing your juvenile records, you need to speak to a skilled Chicago expungement attorney who can help. For many years, Attorney John D. Ioakimidis has helped minors expunge their records and secure a brighter future. Each case is different, and his firm is committed to providing personalized representation in each case. Since he has been recognized as a “10 Best Attorney for Client Satisfaction” by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys, you can trust that you are in good hands. For a free, confidential consultation, call us at 312-229-5500.

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