Illinois places different kinds of misdemeanors into three different classes. These classes have specific severities of crimes in each. In all three classes the most punishable is up to a year in a county jail. Class A Misdemeanors can have sentences up to three hundred sixty-five days in a county facility, at times, along with a thousand dollar fine or more. Sometimes a person is punishable by jailing, a fine, or both, which is the case with all misdemeanors.
Class A Misdemeanors are the most severe of all misdemeanors and can include aggravated assault, battery, domestic battery, criminal damage to property, criminal trespassing, deceptive practices, obscenity, possession of more than ten grams but less than thirty grams of marijuana, patronizing a prostitute, reckless conduct, retail theft, public indecency, and other similar crimes.
Class B Misdemeanors are less severe than Class A Misdemeanors and hold charges of up to one hundred eighty days in jail along with a one thousand dollar fine. The charges under a Class B Misdemeanor include criminal trespassing on property, harassment by telephone, and possession of more than one point five grams but less than ten grams of marijuana.
A Class C Misdemeanor is the least severe of all misdemeanors and includes punishment of up to thirty days in a county jail facility and can also include a fine of five hundred dollars. The Class C Misdemeanors include assault, disorderly conduct, and possession of less than two point five grams of marijuana.
In Illinois a record can be expunged, which means it can be erased to where it never existed. The agency of arrest then returns the records to an individual. These include all fingerprint cards, police reports, and booking photographs that were produced from the arrest. Circuit clerks then eliminate the record physically and electronically. An individual is then able to state on paper or in job applications that the arrest never happened.
Records can also be sealed. This is where only law enforcement has access to the records and the general public no longer has access. The court files are no longer allowed to be publically viewed and do not appear in public search engines.
Eligibility for Expungement
Expungement is only possible for those that reside under specific guidelines. For expungement an individual must have been acquitted and not have been found guilty of accused crime; been released without conviction; resulted in a no probable cause finding; had the case nolle prosequi, had a conviction or sentence set aside and later found innocent factually, had a pardon from the governor, or been placed on supervision and allowed two years to pass after its completion.
No matter the qualifications for expungement, a person must wait at least five years to apply for expungement. Cases can be either sealed or expunged but which depends on the judge's discretion. Some felonies are allowed to be sealed or expunged but it depends on which class they fall under.
Some cases cannot be expunged and include being found guilty, a sentencing of probation, a conviction of a sexual offense against a minor, a conditional discharge sentencing, or a DUI supervision. See also:
Illinois Felony External link (opens in new window)
Illinois Expungement External link (opens in new window)
Illinois Gun Laws External link (opens in new window)