Making a mistake that leads to a criminal record can change the trajectory of your life. However, in Illinois, there’s a glimmer of hope. With the possibility of expunging or sealing your record, you might be able to leave the past behind and pave a smoother path forward. But what do you need to know about this process? Let’s uncover the key facts together.5 Fast Facts About Expungement in Read More
If you’re an adult who made some mistakes in the past – meaning, you have a juvenile criminal record – you need to know that although all law enforcement and court records from juvenile court are sealed, they’re often still there.
That means you need your juvenile records expunged if you don’t want anyone to see them.
Are Juvenile Records Automatically Expunged?
Although Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill that requires some juvenile records to be expunged, not all are – so it’s important that you talk to a Chicago expungement lawyer about your situation. Records that aren’t expunged are still visible to some employers and government agencies (including law enforcement professionals).
That means if you want to join the military, get a professional license in a regulated field (such as the medical field) or get a completely fresh start as an adult, you could have a tough time based on what happened when you were just a kid.
What You Need to Know About Automatic Juvenile Expungement
In some cases, juvenile records are expunged – but not all. If no petition for delinquency was filed in your case, and if you went 6 months or more without another arrest or charge, your records should have been expunged within a year.
Other arrests and court records of cases that resulted in dismissal or a finding of “not delinquent” are supposed to be expunged automatically, as well as cases that resulted in an order of supervision that you completed successfully. Other cases that are supposed to be automatic (after a certain amount of time has passed without you picking up other charges) are:
- Guilty finding for a Class B or Class C misdemeanor, or a petty or business offense
- Guilty finding for a Class A misdemeanor or non-violent felony
However, sometimes expungements slip through the cracks; you might want to have your lawyer perform a background check to make sure that yours wasn’t one of them.
When Can You Apply for Juvenile Record Expungement?
You can petition the court for juvenile record expungement when you turn 18. You can apply even if your records weren’t eligible for automatic expungement if you qualify.
Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Expungement?
If you need to talk to an attorney about juvenile record expungement, call us right away at 847-920-4540 for a free case review. We may be able to help you get the fresh start you deserve.