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New Illinois Law Offers Automatic Expungements for Juvenile Arrestees

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juvenile criminal record, Plainiville defense attorney, Illinois expungement law, arrest record, Expungement is the legal process of removing a person's arrest record from the Illinois Department of State Police and the records of the arresting authority. The expungement process ensures that your name is removed from the Circuit Clerk official index, and thus law enforcement professionals and employers cannot view the record of your arrest. Expungement is a great option for any person who has been arrested for a crime that they were never tried for or convicted of in court.

Juvenile arrests have become a big issue in Illinois. Some of these young adults are arrested because of bad decisions, as well as socio-economic issues that put them at a disadvantage. An arrest record can be an additional disadvantage for a young adult looking for gainful employment or other means of turning their life around. Even if the arrested person is not tried and found guilty of the crime, the record of the arrest can still greatly impede a person's opportunity to find employment. In order to give juvenile arrestees in Illinois a leg up, Illinois had enacted a new law that will provide for the automatic expungement of any juvenile who has been arrested but never charged for a crime.

Illinois Juvenile Offenders

In 2013, around 16,000 of all juvenile arrestees would have been eligible for arrest record expungement. However, only 661 of these juveniles actually applied for expungement, and only one of these applicants had their application denied. Part of the reason why there has not been a higher amount of expungement applications is because many of these arrestees probably did not know that expungement was possible, partially because of their lack of access to legal services performed by attorneys and other professionals.

Crime, especially involving minors, has become a very serious issue in Illinois, which has led to significant prison and juvenile detention center overcrowding. Furthermore, those with arrest records face significant issues with finding employment and receiving financial aid for education, and for having their public housing applications, teaching and other certificate applications approved. Illinois hopes that the automatic removal of arrest records will help prevent these juveniles from conducting future crimes because of the lack of opportunities they face as a result of having arrest records.

The New Expungement Law

The new expungement law automatically removes the arrest records of juveniles, though with specific limitations. Under the law, an arrest for a non-sex crime, or other non-serious offense, is automatically expunged if the arrestee turned 18 in the last year, but only if the arrest did not result in formal charges for the alleged crime. The expungement is only allowed if the juvenile has not had additional arrests since the arrest that is subject to expungement. The new bill make the process of expungement available to all juveniles, which has been available to remove convictions and minor arrests, but only when a person can afford an attorney or other legal professional who understands the expungement process. The new bill has been touted as creating a softer way for Illinois to combat crime, while reducing some of the barriers that prevent criminals from gaining employment, education, and housing.

If you are looking for an attorney to perform expungements or other criminal law-related services, contact one of our experienced Plainfield criminal law attorneys here at Law Offices of Cosmo Tedone and Barbara Morton, P.C. today. We are prepared to answer all of your criminal law-related questions and advise you on the best course of action in your case.
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