Can a Juvenile Criminal Record Be Expunged in Illinois?

St. Charles juvenile crime defense attorney

Did you know that a person’s brain is not fully developed until he or she is approximately 25 years old? Scientific research has shown that a teenager’s brain functions differently than an adult brain. This may be one reason why some young people are more likely to make decisions based on emotions or impulses instead of weighing the long-term consequences of their actions. This type of reckless behavior can lead to mistakes that result in being charged with a crime. However, in certain situations, juveniles charged or convicted of criminal offenses may be eligible for a second chance. Criminal record expungement is one way that a teen can clear his or her name and move on to a brighter future after an arrest or a criminal offense.

Some Juvenile Offenses Are Expunged Automatically

Adult offenses and juvenile offenses are treated differently in the Illinois criminal justice system. In some circumstances, a juvenile record is expunged automatically. Illinois offenses that may be automatically expunged one year after the arrest include:

  • Criminal charges that were dismissed

  • Arrests that did not result in any charges

  • Situations in which the juvenile is judged “not delinquent”

  • Cases in which an order of supervision was successfully terminated 

  • Class B misdemeanors and Class C misdemeanors

It is very important to note that these records are only eligible for automatic expungement if the juvenile is not arrested again within six months of the first arrest. Class A misdemeanors and felonies for nonviolent crimes may be automatically expunged two years after the offense if the juvenile does not have additional adjudications of delinquency or pending charges at that time.

Petitioning for an Expungement

If your child’s record is not eligible for automatic expungement, you may still be able to petition the court for expungement. Cases in which the juvenile completed a pre-trial diversion program, as well as station adjustments and adjustments for probation, may be eligible for expungement. However, some offenses cannot be expunged even after the juvenile is an adult. These include convictions for felony sex offenses and first-degree murder, as well as charges for driving under the influence (DUI). Even if some crimes on a juvenile criminal record cannot be expunged, this does not mean that other infractions may not be eligible for expungement. A qualified criminal defense attorney with experience expunging juvenile records can help you determine the best course of action for your child.

Contact a St. Charles Juvenile Crime Defense Lawyer

A criminal record can dramatically impact your child’s future. In certain situations, a juvenile may be able to have his or her criminal record erased or expunged. To learn more about juvenile record expungement, defending against criminal charges, and more, contact an accomplished Illinois criminal defense attorney from the Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC. We believe that everyone deserves a second chance. Call us today at 630-232-1780 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.