Address 1200 Harger Road, Suite 706, Oak Brook, IL 60523
630-472-9700Available 24/7
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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700Available 24/7

DuPage County Juvenile Record Expungement Attorney

Hinsdale Juvenile Defense Lawyer

Lawyers for Expungement of Underage Criminal Records in Wheaton and Downers Grove

When a minor child (under age 18) is arrested and processed through the juvenile justice system in Illinois, many records are created in the form of police reports, juvenile court documents, and law enforcement computer databases. Even if a case was dismissed before trial, the arrest record still exists and may pose a problem later in life.

Records related to juvenile offenses are automatically sealed in Illinois, meaning they are not available to the general public but are still accessible by order of the juvenile court in specific circumstances. One important exception is that sealed juvenile records involving a guilty verdict may be reviewed if the individual later applies for employment in a law enforcement agency, correctional institution, or fire department.

The very existence of sealed records leaves the potential for them to be exposed in a variety of circumstances. Only the process known as expungement causes paper records to be destroyed and electronic records to be erased; any juvenile offenses must then be treated as if they had never happened. And while Illinois has a process to automatically expunge some juvenile records, government agencies may not be perfect in their execution, and some records are not, in fact, eligible for automatic expungement.

The attorneys at Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. understand that many factors lead young people to get in trouble with the law, including simple immaturity and impulsiveness, peer pressure, drug/alcohol misuse, and even mental health issues such as depression. By filing a court petition for expungement, we ensure that all records that can possibly be erased are, thereby ensuring that juvenile records cannot follow a child into adult life where employment and other opportunities could be affected.

Procedures for Expungement of Juvenile Records in Illinois

Illinois has two procedures for expunging juvenile law enforcement and court records: automatic expungement and expungement by petition. Regardless of procedure, an expunged juvenile record can be treated as if it never existed, with the exception of military employment applications.

The latest law with regard to automatic expungement of juvenile records went into effect January 1, 2018 (705 ILCS 405/5-915). This law provides for automatic expungement of all law enforcement and court records related to a specific juvenile case upon the following events: the minor was arrested but no charges were filed; charges were dismissed; the accused was ruled not delinquent (not guilty); the youth was found delinquent, sentenced to court supervision, and the supervision has been successfully completed; or the youth was found delinquent and completed a sentence other than supervision for a Class B misdemeanor or lesser offense.

Filing a court petition for expungement will ensure that all juvenile records that can be expunged are expunged, including those not (or not yet) eligible for automatic expungement. A petition for expungement can be filed at any time (705 ILCS 405/5-915).

Juvenile Records That Can Be Expunged in Illinois

  • Arrests that resulted in no prosecution, including station adjustments, probation adjustments, and pre-petition diversion programs.
  • Cases that were dismissed or ended in a not-guilty verdict.
  • Cases with a guilty verdict where the sentence was court supervision and the supervision was completed successfully.
  • Cases with a guilty verdict involving a petty offense or a Class B or C misdemeanor, such as disturbing the peace or possession of less than 10 grams of cannabis.
  • Cases with a guilty verdict involving a Class A misdemeanor or felony, such shoplifting/retail theft, criminal trespassing or criminal damage to property (vandalism). Note that these records are NOT fully covered under Illinois's automatic expungement process.

Juvenile Records that Cannot Be Expunged in Illinois

Illinois does not allow expungement of cases where the individual was found guilty of first-degree murder or a felony sex offense. However, an arrest for one of these offenses may be expunged if the outcome was not guilty or guilty of a lesser offense.

Juvenile Defense Lawyers in DuPage County

If you or your child has a juvenile record, it is in your best interest to make sure that all possible arrest and court records have been expunged. The attorneys of Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. have decades of experience supporting youthful clients and assisting with records expungement. For a free consultation, contact our office at 630-472-9700. We provide legal counsel to clients in Addison, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Hinsdale, Lombard, Oak Brook, Wheaton, and Westmont.

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