At first glance, most of the common traffic violations may not appear to be a big deal. But between hefty fines and long-term impacts to your driving record, traffic violations can significantly compromise your driving privileges, even if the charges were minor. In Illinois, driving records can only be expunged if the charge was classified as a criminal violation, so just because you were charged doesn’t mean you need to carry around the mark on your record. In many cases, traffic violations can be expunged, although there are certain steps you will need to take in order for your case to be successful.
If you were charged with a traffic violation, you need to act quickly. Call our Chicago attorneys right away to review your case.
Petty Crimes Vs. Criminal Charges
Petty crimes are those that are punishable by a fine. They are relatively minor, and happen very commonly. Examples include speeding 5 to 25 miles per hour over the limit, incorrect lane usage or disregarding a traffic signal.
Serious traffic violations may be charged as a crime, resulting in jail time. More serious charges include DUIs, reckless driving or driving with a suspended license. In order to expunge a record, Illinois law determines that a traffic violation needs to be a criminal charge, not merely a traffic ticket. Therefore, if your charge was deemed minor, it cannot be sealed from your driving record. However, more significant charges may be expunged with the assistance of an attorney.
Reasons Driving Records Stored by Secretary of State Aren’t Subject to Expungement
Despite that Illinois legislature drafted laws for expungement of records, these laws do not include records that are managed by the Illinois Secretary of State, or the agency that collects and maintains the information. Since the law doesn’t directly address these records, the Secretary of State is not ordered to act when a judge requests an expungement of a traffic violation in Illinois, even if the ruling also pertains to traffic cases.
Considering these provisions, you are likely wondering whether there are any advantages to expunging a traffic violation. If you are attempting to remove a felony or misdemeanor offense from an official driving record, the benefits of expungement may be limited. Expunging a traffic record does remove the case’s information from the circuit court clerk’s public traffic index, altough most potential employers review your driving history through the Secretary of State, not the court.
Who is Eligible for Expungement in Illinois?
Since severe traffic charges can result in significant fines and future complications if left on your record, it may be advantageous to work alongside a traffic record expungement attorney. Post-conviction relief lawyer Jonathan Minkus has successfully worked with clients to expunge their record and help them obtain a clean driving record. You may be qualified for a driving record expungement if you were arrested, but not convicted of a crime, or if your case was dropped, dismissed or acquitted.
Talk to an Illinois Expungement Lawyer
The Law Offices of Jonathan Minkus is committed to protecting your future. To discuss the possibility of expunging your driving record, contact our office for a consultation.