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Legislation Pending in Illinois Could Change the Right to Access DUI Records

A DUI conviction often not only results in criminal penalties but also impairs a person’s job prospects and relationships. While in many states, people convicted for DUI offenses may be eligible to have their records expunged, Illinois is not currently one of them. A new bill seeks to change the law regarding access to DUI records, however, in hopes of offering people in Illinois who were convicted of DUI crimes a chance to move forward without fear of their criminal records being exposed. If you are accused of a DUI offense, it is smart to consult a trusted Illinois DUI lawyer to determine your options for seeking a just outcome.

DUI Legislation Pending in Illinois

Under Illinois law, there are two types of crimes that cannot be expunged: DUI and domestic violence offenses. In other words, if a person was convicted of a DUI crime decades ago, the record will remain and cannot be expunged. There are a handful of other states that have similar laws, including Ohio, Tennessee, Alaska, Idaho, Maine, Kansas, Texas, and Vermont. While it does not appear that Illinois’ expungement laws will be changed anytime in the near future, State Representatives recently introduced legislation that would allow for DUI records to be sealed.

House Bill 3934, which seeks to amend the Criminal Identification Act, was introduced by Representative Tony McCombie with the aim to provide those convicted of DUI crimes with second chances. If the bill passes, the Criminal Identification Act would be modified to allow records related to DUI charges to be sealed if certain criteria are met. Specifically, it must be shown that the person charged with DUI had not previously been placed on supervision due to DUI or convicted of DUI at the time the charges arose and that at least ten years have passed since the person’s sentence was completed.

The bill also states that the person seeking to seal records would be required to prove that he or she has no other felony or misdemeanor driving charges on his or her record and that the DUI incident to which the records pertain did not proximately cause a bodily injury or death of any other person or damage to another individual’s property. Finally, a judge must confirm that the person did not previously commit a DUI under the Illinois Vehicle Code or any other similar offense and that the person did not previously enter into a plea agreement on a lesser charge other than a DUI.

Speak to an Experienced Illinois DUI attorney

In Illinois, DUI charges often arise out of momentary acts, but they can result in lifelong consequences. If you are charged with a DUI offense, it is advisable to speak to an attorney regarding your rights. Theodore J. Harvatin, of the Harvatin Law Offices, PC, is an experienced Illinois DUI defense attorney with the knowledge and resources required to help you pursue a favorable result, and if you hire him, he will work tirelessly on your behalf. You can reach Mr. Harvatin by calling 217.525.0520 or via the online form to set up a conference.

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