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Can My Juvenile Record be Expunged?


Everyone makes mistakes and sometimes those mistakes can continue to haunt us, even long after we put the past behind us and turn things around. If you have a juvenile record, you might be worried about the impact this could potentially have on your life as you try to move forward into adulthood. When a person is charged or arrested, those arrest records are kept by the Illinois State police or the arresting law enforcement agency. If you are searching for employment or an apartment to rent, for example, an employer or landlord would be able to do a background check and access these records.

If you are concerned about your juvenile record jeopardizing your ability to move forward with your life and truly put your mistakes to rest, you need to learn more about record expungement, so you can have a clean slate.

Juvenile Record Expungement

If an arrest involves a juvenile, the record will include all arrests prior to the juvenile turning 17 and arrests for misdemeanors prior to the minor turning the age of 18 if they occurred between the years 2010 and 2013. Arrests will appear on a juvenile record even if there was never a charge, the case was dismissed, the minor was acquitted or found not guilty, was sentenced to probation or supervision, or if the juvenile was found guilty.

The expungement of a juvenile record would make it unavailable to most employers and the public. However, even if your juvenile record is expunged, certain government agencies would still have access to it if you were to apply for employment. The government agencies that would continue to have access to your criminal record include the military, law enforcement, and the department of corrections. Additionally, if you were to be charged with a new crime, the prosecutor would have access to your record.

Thankfully, juvenile records can be expunged once the individual turns 18 years old. In most cases, a juvenile criminal record can automatically be expunged if a petition for delinquency was never filed, if the juvenile turned 18 during the prior calendar year, and at least 6 months have passed since the arrest without any additional arrests or filing of a charge not initiated by an arrest.

Once you reach the age of 18 and, assuming you complied with sentencing, you would be able to expunge the following:

  • Dismissals
  • Not guilty verdicts
  • Sentences for supervision
  • Juvenile arrests if you were never charged with the crime
  • Juvenile convictions of Class B and C misdemeanors or petty offenses

Cases that cannot be expunged include:

  • A proceeding that might have started, but did not proceed, in juvenile court. If you were prosecuted as an adult, you might be able to expunge or seal your criminal record.
  • Cases that involve driving under the influence.
  • First-degree murder.
  • Sex offenses that, if committed by an adult, would be considered a felony.

If you are under the age of 18, you will need a parent or guardian to petition for the expungement of your record. If you are 18 years of age or more, you would be able to obtain an expungement without having a parent or guardian sign off on it. That said, regardless of how old you are, it is imperative that you pursue legal guidance to determine your eligibility and to have the guidance you need to ensure you are able to correctly navigate every step of the process. You do not want to risk prolonging the process by making any unnecessary mistakes. Your life is waiting for you, so do not hesitate to get started.

Criminal Defense Attorneys in Chicago

If you were arrested as a juvenile and would like to expunge your record, so you can move forward with your life, now is the time to hire experienced legal representation, so you can keep the past from following you. At the Law Office of Steven Fine in Chicago, our skilled criminal defense attorney has over two decades of experience fighting on behalf of those who seek his help. Do not let a mistake from the past keep you from living the life you deserve.

Get started on expunging your juvenile record today and reach out to our law firm at (312) 436-0638 to request a free case review.