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Illinois Juvenile Expungement Services

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SEALING CONVICITONS IN ILLINOIS

Don't Let Mistakes From Your Youth Hurt Your Fututre

A juvenile criminal record in Illinois makes life more difficult. The records follow you into adulthood, often restricting you from many opportunities, including getting the job you want, legally owning a gun, qualifying for student loans and going to college, and many more. Even after you have grown up, a juvenile record can stop you from moving on in life.

Juvenile records are more difficult for the public to find than adult records, but they still often show up in most background checks and have the same negative effect. Illinois has tried to make the process of eliminating juvenile records easier, but most people still need to use the courts in order to expunge them.

The Automatic Juvenile Expungement Act (Public Act 100-720) amended Illinois law to automatically expunge many juvenile records. While it’s a positive step, the issue with the legislation is that the automatic expungement does not apply to all juvenile records, and many still require that you petition the court to do so.

This Information Is For You

Since the majority of people reading this aren’t lawyers, we’ve tried to simplify the legal jargon on our website, so regular people may follow along and get the information needed to understand their rights. However, before we get started, we should be clear that some of this information can get complicated, and, in many cases, it’s best to seek the assistance of an experienced lawyer.

To help you understand your rights, our lawyers have developed a tool that can be helpful in figuring out your options. This tool can’t be perfectly accurate in every situation, but our lawyers have invested substantial time and resources working to make it as accurate as possible.

You can get started by using our Secure Eligibility Test, or you can give us a call at (844) 947-3732 to see if our legal staff is available for a free consultation. Be aware that our staff is often busy with current clients and a high volume of calls and appointments. If you’re serious about getting rid of your record, your best bet is to take our Secure Eligibility Test and then schedule an appointment to discuss your results and options.

Has Your Juvenile Record Been Expunged Automatically?

In 2018, the Automatic Juvenile Expungement Act (Public Act 100-720) was passed, permitting for the automatic expungement of many eligible juvenile criminal records. Records that do not qualify for automatic expungement under the new law may often be expunged by filing a Request to Expunge Juvenile Records in the county where you have a record. However, certain juvenile records, which are detailed below, do not qualify for expungement using either method.

  • General Requirements for Automatic Expungement
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    The rules for the automatic expungement of juvenile records in Illinois are straightforward. You may have your juvenile record automatically expunged under 705 ILCS 405/5-915 in the following circumstances:

    1. Arrests that did not result in filed charges will be automatically expunged one year after the arrest date, if you haven’t been arrested or charged with anything else in the last six months.

    2. Criminal records relating to cases: (i) that were dismissed; (ii) in which there was no finding of delinquency; or (iii) in which an order of supervision was terminated successfully.

    3. Convictions for Class B and C Misdemeanors or petty or business offenses, once all court proceedings have concluded.

    4. Convictions for Class A Misdemeanors and felonies: (i) that did not involve violence or a threat of violence; (ii) in which two years have passed since the case was closed; (iii) in which you have no pending charges or cases; and (iv) in which you have no subsequent adult or juvenile convictions.

  • Juvenile Records That Cannot Be Automatically Expunged
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    If your juvenile record does not qualify for automatic expungement, you can usually expunge it by petitioning the court, unless your specific record is not eligible for expungement. The situations in which you cannot expunge your criminal record are outlined next.

    The following types of juvenile records typically do not qualify for expungement:
    1. Criminal cases that were moved to adult court.

    2. Cases where you did not successfully complete terms of your sentence or court supervision.

    3. Cases where you were committed a felony sex offense, or required you to register as a sex offender.

    4. Convictions for a first degree murder.

    5. Felony or Class A Misdemeanors when any of the following are true: (i) it has not been five years since your sentence was completed; (ii) you have been convicted of additional crimes since turning 18; (iii) your conviction involved violence or the threat of violence.

    6. You cannot have any pending charges as an adult for a felony or a misdemeanor punishable by confinement in jail.

    In most circumstances, a juvenile record can be expunged if it is not on the above list of excluded juvenile records.

  • What Types of Juvenile Records Cannot Be Expunged?
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    The following types of juvenile records typically do not qualify for expungement:

    1. Criminal cases that were moved to adult court

    2. Cases where you did not successfully complete terms of your sentence or court supervision

    3. Cases where you committed a felony sex offense, or required you to register as a sex offender

    4. Convictions for first degree murder

    5. Felony or Class A Misdemeanors when any of the following are true: (i) it has not been five years since your sentence was completed; (ii) you have been convicted of additional crimes since turning 18; (iii) your conviction involved violence or the threat of violence.

    In most circumstances, a juvenile record can be expunged if it is not on the above list of excluded juvenile records.

Legal Effects of Sealing Your Record

In most circumstances, a juvenile record can be expunged if it is not on the above list of excluded juvenile records.

  • How Will Expunging My Juvenile Record Help Me Get a Job
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    In most cases, expungement will clearly help. Expunging a juvenile criminal record under Illinois law allows you to legally state that you were not convicted of a crime—it is as if it never occurred, and, with very few exceptions, it cannot be accessed. Very few agencies can see expunged juvenile records, which include: (i) immigration officials; (ii) law enforcement; and (iii) military and national security agencies, if you apply for a job with them.

    Your expunged juvenile record should not appear in a background check, and an employer cannot use any expunged juvenile records against you without violating the Juvenile Expungement Act (705 ILCS 405/5-915).

  • Will Expunging My Juvenile Record Restore My Second Amendment Rights?
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    Expunging a juvenile conviction will not restore your firearm rights on its own, but, in many cases, you may expunge your juvenile record and then petition the courts to restore your firearm rights in a separate legal process. The process to qualify for restoration of Illinois firearm rights has separate requirements, which are detailed on our Illinois Firearm Rights Restoration page.

    There are many ways to have your firearm rights restricted under federal or Illinois state law, and not everybody with an Illinois juvenile conviction can restore their constitutional right to own or possess firearms. It should be noted that you can almost never restore firearm rights based on federal convictions, and it can be very difficult to restore if your Second Amendment rights were taken away due to a domestic violence conviction. However, unlike most states, an Illinois domestic battery conviction does not necessarily prevent you from restoring your firearm rights.

    We will go into more detail regarding restoring Second Amendment rights in Illinois on our Illinois Firearm Rights Restoration page, but restoration typically involves both state and federal law that should be handled by an experienced lawyer. The lawyers in our firm regularly handle complex firearm rights restoration issues, so a good first step in exploring whether you can restore your firearm rights would be to take our Secure Eligibility Test. Then, if appropriate, set up a time to speak with our legal staff about how to proceed.

What You Need to Do to Get Rid of Your Arrest Record

If you are tired of having a criminal record hold you back, reach out to us by taking our Secure Eligibility Test or by giving us a call at (844) 947-3732. Our law firm has helped thousands of people with criminal records move on in life, leaving many of the negative effects of a criminal record behind.  Our experienced attorneys and legal staff are here to help you figure out what criminal record clearing services best fit your needs, and then help you accomplish your goals.  Using our secure, confidential Eligibility Test is the best way to get the process started.

Some of the Potential Benefits of Setting Aside Your Arrest Record in Illinois Include:
  • Removing a finding of guilt and closing the case on your criminal record to help you get a better job

  • Restoring your Second Amendment Rights to own a firearm

  • Becoming eligible for professional licenses you previously did not qualify for

  • Increased eligibility for student loans, housing assistance, and government programs

  • Improving your ability to obtain higher-paying job opportunities

  • Improving access and admission to college and other educational resources

We Are Here to Help

Each of Illinois's methods for dealing with your criminal record have different requirements and are meant for different circumstances.  To move forward, it’s important to determine what Illinois criminal record services are available to you, and then select the services that will provide the greatest benefit. Eastman Meyler, PC is here to help you navigate this very specific area of Illinois criminal law, fight to protect your rights, and assist you in moving forward in life without the effects of a Illinois criminal record.

You can trust that you will get exceptional service from our law firm, as we have an A Rating from the Better Business Bureau, and prestigious attorney rating services such as Thompson Reuters and Avvo list our attorneys as Super Lawyers and Superb Attorneys. Our law firm has attorneys licensed to practice law in all Illinois state courts, provides low price guarantees, and is here to fight for you and put your criminal record behind you!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Are Juvenile Recods and How do I Know if I Have One?
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    If you are arrested before turning 18 years old, a juvenile record is created. It does not require a conviction, court appearance, or even charges being filed to create a juvenile record. A juvenile record is created upon arrest. If you were under 18 when arrested, but charged in adult court, you have an adult criminal record and a juvenile expungement is not the correct remedy.

  • What Does Expunging My Juvenile Record Do?
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    A juvenile expungement erases all your juvenile arrest and court records. If you receive a granted order, it is as if the records never existed, subject to a few exceptions.

  • Why is Expunging My Juvenile Recod Important?
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    Expunging your juvenile records prevents other people from accessing or viewing them in a background check. Although juvenile records cannot be seen by the general public, they may be accessible by some employers, law enforcement agencies, and certain government agencies. Examples of this type of access include obtaining a job involving schools, healthcare, childcare, or security, and other situations such as applications for subsidized housing.

  • Can I Expunge My Record Now, or Do I Need To Wait?
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    To expunge your juvenile record, each of your juvenile cases and court proceedings must be concluded. If you’re expunging a juvenile record where you were convicted of a Class A misdemeanor or felony, you must wait two (2) years from the date of completing your sentence, including any probation or other terms imposed by the court.

  • What Does NOT count as Juvenile Records?
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    The following types of records are not classified as juvenile records:

    • Adult Criminal Records: Whether you were arrested at age 18 or older or were charged in adult criminal court, you have an adult criminal record.

    • Municipal or Local Ordinance Arrests: If you were charged with an ordinance violation, do not petition for juvenile expungement, as they are considered adult offenses.

    • Civil Cases: Civil cases will not appear on your criminal record and cannot be expunged.

    • Traffic Cases: If you were charged with a traffic violation, do not petition for juvenile expungement, as they are considered adult offenses.