Being arrested and put in the back of a police car can be an overwhelming and confusing experience. Many people in this situation are unsure of what to expect after an arrest. They are unfamiliar with the bond hearing process or what it means to be formally “charged” with a crime. Likewise, many people charged with a crime do not understand the long-term consequences of the charge. If the charges are eventually dismissed or they are found “not guilty”, they assume that there is no record of the charges.
Unfortunately, being arrested or charged with a crime can still be recorded on a person’s public criminal record even if he or she is ultimately acquitted of the charges.
Criminal Records in Illinois
Not every arrest leads to formal criminal charges. Sometimes, the prosecution does not have enough evidence to actually charge someone with a crime. The suspect is released from police custody and free to go about living his or her life. It is also possible to be charged with a crime only for the prosecution to drop the charges or dismiss the case. Individuals in these types of situations are usually unaware that the arrest or criminal charges are documented on their criminal record. Fortunately, there is a way to erase or “expunge” your criminal record....