Domestic battery is a serious offense in the state of Illinois, and it’s something that sticks with you if you’re convicted of it. As a Chicago expungement attorney, people ask me all the time if there’s any way to expunge domestic battery from their records. The answer? Maybe.
Domestic Battery Expungement
In some cases, domestic battery is a charge that’s there to stay. Law enforcement officials, the military and even potential landlords and employers may be able to view your record and see that you were convicted of domestic battery.
Don’t lose hope yet, though. Sometimes domestic battery can be expunged in the state of Illinois. It’s not always easy, and it’s not always quick, but it can be done.
How to Expunge a Domestic Battery Conviction
Illinois law is very clear about what can and cannot be expunged. A domestic battery conviction is one of the things that can be expunged, but only under certain conditions.
- You must have no other convictions.
- You must have been sentenced to court supervision only.
- Your conviction must have been more than five years ago.
Naturally, if you were acquitted of charges or if no actual charges were filed (if you were only arrested on suspicion of domestic battery), you can have it expunged from your record.
Most people find that working with an attorney makes the whole process easier. Generally, you’ll bring your entire record—your criminal background report—to your expungement lawyer. He’ll look at everything and help you determine whether you’re really eligible. If you are, he’ll help you move forward with the process.
Expunging Domestic Battery from Your Record
It’s not a simple process. There are forms to fill out and file, and you may have to show up to explain yourself in front of a judge. (If you do, your lawyer will be by your side and help ensure that your side of the story comes out.) Sometimes the state’s attorney objects to the expungement; if that happens, you have the right to present witnesses and supporting evidence that helps your case.Matt Fakhoury