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Can a Juvenile Record Be Expunged in Illinois?

 Posted on April 04, 2024 in Juvenile Offenses

IL defense lawyerMost people would probably say they regret some of the decisions they made in their youth. For some people, mistakes they wish they had not made might be connected to the way they treated their parents or lied about studying for a test. For others, poor decision-making in their youth led them to commit juvenile offenses that could follow them into adulthood. Having a juvenile record can make it difficult for someone hoping for a fresh start at living a responsible life. Fortunately, in some cases, it is possible to get a juvenile record expunged. If this is something you are interested in, speak with a qualified Naperville, IL defense attorney to understand your options. 

What is Automatic Expungement?

Expungement is a legal way to have your criminal record officially erased, making it seem as if it never happened. In the state of Illinois, there are certain types of arrests or other contact with the police that are eligible for automatic expungement. By the first of January every year, these records can be expunged automatically. If you were younger than 18 years old when you were arrested, that criminal record can be expunged if certain conditions are met.

Can a Request for Expungement Be Denied?

While juvenile records can often be expunged, under certain circumstances, this is not possible. Examples of cases that are not eligible for expungement include:

  • First-degree murder (if you have been found guilty)
  • Civil cases
  • Any sex offenses requiring you to be currently registered with the Juvenile Sex Offender Registry
  • Traffic offenses
  • Any cases in which you were tried as an adult even if you were a juvenile at the time

Expunging Your Juvenile Record Once You Turn 18

If you are 18 years old, you can petition the court for the expungement of juvenile records that were not automatically expunged previously. Court approval can be granted to expunge records if:

  • You were convicted for a Class B or C misdemeanor.
  • You were arrested but not criminally charged.
  • You were arrested but found not guilty.
  • You were arrested but then the case was dismissed.

Expunging Your Juvenile Record Once You Turn 21

Some offenses cannot be expunged unless you are 21 years old and have maintained a clean record since you were 18. You also need to demonstrate that it has been at least five years since your last juvenile case or any case in which you were tried as an adult.

Contact an Illinois Juvenile Defense Lawyer

Things you did in your past do not need to dictate your future. At Law Office of Philip R. Nathe, we are passionate about fighting for second chances. If you want your juvenile record expunged so you can have a fresh start, an experienced Naperville, IL criminal defense attorney can review your case and help decide how to move forward. Call 630-416-7600 to schedule a free consultation.

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