How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Illinois?

A conviction of driving under the influence (DUI) stays on your record forever in Illinois. Given the seriousness of this charge, it is critical to contact a DUI attorney to handle your legal case from the start.

At Madelyn Daley & Associates, we understand you may feel stressed and worried about your future when facing criminal DUI charges. We will analyze your legal circumstances and offer you the advice and guidance you need.  

What Happens When You Are Charged with a DUI? 

Under Illinois law, the penalties for a DUI are severe and can include fines, jail time, and installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. Aside from these consequences, a DUI conviction can impact your professional and personal life. A DUI could cost you your job or jeopardize a professional license you hold. Your reputation among family and friends could also be tarnished. 

When you are convicted of a DUI, it stays on your record forever, and Illinois law does not allow you to expunge or seal it once convicted. The only way to prevent a DUI charge from going on your record is if you are tried and found not guilty, the case is dismissed, or you are arrested for DUI and not charged. If these are the circumstances of your case, you may be able to have the incidents expunged from your criminal record or have your criminal record sealed.

What Is Expungement and Sealing?

Expungement means that the incident is completely removed from your record. While DUI convictions cannot be expunged, an experienced criminal law attorney can advise whether you are eligible for expungement under your specific circumstances. 

If you do not qualify for expungement, you may be able to have your record sealed, meaning that your criminal history is only available to be viewed by law enforcement and certain government agencies. While you cannot have a DUI conviction or supervision sealed, you can seal the record of an arrest that did not result in conviction. This means the general public (including current and potential private sector employers) cannot view the DUI. You cannot petition to have the record sealed for three years after the incident. 

If you petition the court for expungement or sealing, law enforcement, the prosecutor, or other agencies may object. The court will set a hearing in your case if there is an objection. Because of the complexities of the criminal justice system, including determining the timing and eligibility of petitioning for expungement or sealing, it is critical to work with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to achieve the best possible outcome.  

Can I Get a Pardon for a DUI? 

A pardon is difficult to obtain and rarely granted, but it is one means of removing a DUI conviction from your criminal record. You have to request a pardon from the governor. If the governor grants your pardon, you are treated as if the DUI never occurred. As such, you are not subject to parole or registration requirements. 

Contact an Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney 

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side. At Madelyn Daley & Associates, we have the skills and legal experience to handle all aspects of your DUI case. 

Madelyn Daley is dedicated to helping those facing criminal consequences – criminal defense is the firm’s sole focus. Contact us today to get started with a free consultation.