Whenever an individual is charged or arrested, the arrest records are made and kept by the Illinois State police or the arresting law enforcement agency. If this arrest involves a juvenile, the record includes (1) all arrests prior to the juvenile turning 17; (2) arrests for misdemeanors prior to turning 18 if they occurred between 2010 and 2013; and (3) beginning in 2014, all arrests that occurred prior to the juvenile turning 18. All arrests appear on a juvenile record even if there was never a charge; the case was dismissed; the juvenile was acquitted, found not delinquent or found not guilty; the juvenile was sentenced to probation or supervision; or the juvenile was convicted, found guilty or delinquent and the decision was reversed.
Likewise, a juvenile court record will exist if the individual is charged with a crime in juvenile court. These records include cases in juvenile court only and do not include those tried in adult criminal court even if the juvenile was under 18.
Expungement of a juvenile criminal record makes the record unavailable to most employers and the public as a whole. Nevertheless, even after a juvenile record is expunged, certain government agencies can still obtain the criminal record when applying for employment. These agencies include the military, law enforcement and the department of corrections. Moreover, if the person is charged with a new crime, state attorneys and other prosecutors have access to this record.
Juvenile records can only be expunged after the person turns 18 years of age. In most cases, a juvenile criminal record may be automatically expunged if no petition for delinquency was filed, the juvenile turned 18 during the prior calendar year, and a minimum of 6 months have passed since the arrest without (1) additional arrests, (2) filing of delinquency petition, or (3) filing of a charge not initiated by an arrest.
Once the individual turns 18 and complies with sentencing, if any, he or she can expunge:
It is important to understand that while adult criminal records that cannot be expunged may be sealed, juvenile records cannot be sealed because they are already private. Moreover, specific timelines must be followed when petitioning the court for the expungement and a court may object to the grounds presented. For this reason, contacting a qualified Chicago juvenile expungement attorney is vital to understanding your options under the law. Contact the law office of Steven Goldman at (773) 484-3131 today for your free, initial case evaluation.