It’s become easier to get juvenile expungements, but that doesn’t mean that any juvenile case can be erased from your record. However, if you were under the age of 18 when you were arrested, accused or convicted of certain crimes, you may be eligible for expungement. It’s always best to talk to a Cook County expungement lawyer who can evaluate your case and help you determine whether you may qualify.
Juvenile Cases that May Qualify for Expungement
Like with cases that are opened for adults, only some juvenile cases can be expunged. Generally, your case may qualify for expungement if:
- You were arrested before the age of 18 but you were found “not delinquent” or no petition for delinquency was filed at all.
- You were sentenced to supervision and you successfully completed your term of supervision.
- You were convicted of crimes that would be considered Class B or Class C misdemeanors if you were an adult.
Juvenile Cases that Do Not Qualify for Expungement
Cases that will not be considered for expungement include:
- DUI, even if you were a minor when you were convicted.
- First-degree murder.
- Sex offenses that are felonies for adults.
Additionally, if your case started in juvenile court but moved to adult court, you’re not automatically eligible for an expungement. However, you can talk to an attorney about having your record expunged or sealed according to the same laws that give adults that opportunity.
Cook County Expungement Laws
The laws in Cook County are the same as those throughout the rest of Illinois. If your case took place in Cook County, you’ll need to go through the appropriate courts; your lawyer will help determine which court will preside over your petition.
What Your Lawyer Needs from You
Your attorney will need to see your entire criminal record. In many cases, you can get your juvenile arrest record from the police department where you were processed. If you have had arrests or convictions as an adult, your lawyer will need to know about them — they may affect the outcome of your case, and he needs to know so that he can help protect your rights and ensure that your judge hears your side of the story.