Domestic violence – what Illinois law technically calls domestic battery – goes on your permanent criminal record. But can you expunge a domestic violence charge in Illinois? Here’s what you need to know.
Can You Expunge a Domestic Violence Charge in Illinois?
Whether you can expunge domestic violence from your criminal record depends on whether:
- You were arrested but not charged with the crime of domestic battery
- You were charged with domestic battery and found not guilty
- You were found guilty of domestic battery
You cannot expunge a domestic battery conviction in the state of Illinois. That means if you were charged with domestic violence and the court found you guilty, it will stay on your criminal record.
However, if you were arrested in a domestic violence incident and you were never charged with a crime – or if you were charged with domestic battery and the court found you not guilty – you can expunge those instances from your record. The same is true if you were charged with a domestic violence-related crime but the state later dropped the charges; that means the state declined to take up a case against you, so you were never found guilty of committing a domestic violence offense.
How Can You Expunge a Domestic Violence Arrest?
You can only expunge a domestic violence arrest from your record if you were never charged with the crime, if you were charged but the state dropped the charges, or if you were charged and found not guilty of the crime in court.
In many cases, the simplest way to clear a criminal record like this is to work with a Chicago expungement attorney. Alternatively, you can use a DIY expungement service that provides you with all the forms and instructions you need to clear your own record.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Clearing Your Criminal Record?
If you need to speak with an attorney about expunging a domestic violence arrest, we can help. Call us at 847-920-4540 now to find out if your record qualifies for expungement.