Adult Versus Juvenile Expungement

Posted on in Expungement

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal law, Illinois criminal lawyer,For first-time criminal offenders, having a record expunged following a criminal arrest can make a huge difference in the overall outcome of the arrest experience. Expungement is essentially the erasing of criminal arrests or charges from one’s record. A cleared record offers a multitude of benefits for the offender, the first being the lifted burden of having a fresh start in terms of present and future employment opportunities.

While erasing arrest details from a criminal record cannot undo the hassle or unfortunate stigma you incur from being accused of a crime, it can at least offer a ray of hope for first-time offenders who wish to possess a clean record for current and potential employers. Both juveniles and adults may have their criminal records expunged, although the proceedings differ. Here are three factors that separate adult expungement from juvenile expungement:

Differing Justice Systems

The main difference in the expungement process for juveniles begins with the difference in the youth justice system versus the adult justice system. For example, juveniles in the state of Illinois are considered youth up to age 18 who are found guilty of “delinquent acts,” not crimes. They are not charged with crimes and sent to trial, as they do not share the same rights to trial by court as adults, and the offenses themselves are typically less severe in nature.

This does not mean that expunging juvenile records should not be handled with care, but it does mean certain acts may have a greater chance of being approved for expungement. The juvenile justice system focuses heavily on the psychological aspects behind delinquent behavior, based on the belief that youth of a certain age can be rehabilitated before they become adults. Therefore, the consequences and approach to addressing juvenile acts differ.

The Nature of the Offense

If you are a juvenile facing adjudication for an offense that would be considered a Class B or C misdemeanor if committed by an adult, there is a good chance you may have such details expunged from your record. Expungement approval may be less lenient for some adult cases, however, and each case will depend on the circumstances. For example, most non-violent adult felonies cannot be expunged. Depending on your offender status - adult or juvenile - and the nature of your offense, your petition for expungement may be denied.

Inexcusable Acts

Serious juvenile offenses may be handled entirely different from the get-go, which can affect an expungement petition. For example, a majority of serious crimes, such as first-degree murder, various sex offenses, and other violent offenses may still require the juvenile to be tried as an adult in a court of law. There are specific juvenile acts that are not expungable whatsoever under Illinois law, such as driving under the influence. This offense, in particular, is inexcusable as it involves underage intoxication. If you are a juvenile tried as an adult, the protocol for petitioning for expungement will differ.

Whether you are underage or not, the desire to have your record expunged requires professional assistance and direction from a qualified Chicago expungement lawyer. If you are concerned about your criminal record and how it will affect your present and future employment standing, call the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney today at 312-629-0669 for a personal consultation.

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