Illinois takes DUIs very seriously and has a zero tolerance policy for DUI convictions. This means that if you are convicted of driving under the influence, that conviction will remain on your record forever.
If you were arrested for or convicted of a DUI, you might be curious what you can do to take it off of your record.
The Criminal Identification Act allows for the sealing of a criminal record. This means your criminal record will still exist, but access to your record is restricted by a required court order. Therefore, your record is not available to the general public, and could only be accessed by the order of a judge. In a felony situation where a conviction cannot be expunged, sealing your record can be looked at as an alternative. However, Illinois does not allow a DUI conviction to be sealed.
Expungement is a process where the state destroys the physical copies of a person’s criminal record and remove a person’s name from public and official records with regards to a particular crime. Whether you were tried as an adult or even as a minor (and even if you had only received probation), a conviction for DUI cannot be expunged in the state of Illinois.
There are only 2 ways to erase a DUI from your record:
1) If you were just arrested, then had gone to trial and were found “not guilty” (not convicted), you can have that DUI arrest expunged. You will need the copies of your charges, the police recording of your arrest, the proof that your case was in fact dismissed, as well as your court records and case numbers. Then you can undergo getting it expunged, with the help of a competent Chicago DUI attorney.
2) In the state of Illinois, the only way to expunge a DUI conviction from your record is getting a governor’s pardon. Governor pardons are extremely rare, but you should talk to your attorney about this possibility of getting one.
Obviously, the best way to ensure that your criminal record stays clear is to avoid drinking and driving in the first place. If you have been arrested for a DUI in Illinois and are facing trial, it’s crucial that you have an experienced Chicago DUI attorney who can help protect your rights.