Illinois Misdemeanor Classes
In Illinois, misdemeanors are classified into three categories. Each of these classes has a different level of crime severity. The most serious penalty in all three classes is up to a year in county jail. A class Misdemeanors can result in sentences of up to 365 days in a county facility, as well as a thousand dollar fine or more. As with all misdemeanors, a person can be punished by imprisonment, a fine, or both.
Class A Misdemeanors are the most serious type of misdemeanor and can include aggravated assault, battery, domestic battery, criminal property damage, 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 serious than Class A misdemeanors and carry penalties of up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Criminal trespassing on property, telephone harassment, and possession of more than one point five grams but less than ten grams of marijuana are all Class B Misdemeanor charges.
A Class C misdemeanor is the least serious of all misdemeanors and carries a punishment of up to thirty days in a county jail facility as well as a $500 fine. Assault, disorderly conduct, and possession of less than two point five grams of marijuana are all Class C Misdemeanors.
Expungement of Misdemeanors
A record in Illinois can be expunged, which means it can be erased to the point where it never existed. The arresting agency then returns the records to the individual. This includes all fingerprint cards, police reports, and booking photographs obtained as a result of the arrest. Circuit clerks then physically and electronically destroy the record. An individual can then claim on paper or in job applications that the arrest never occurred.
Records can be sealed as well. Only law enforcement has access to the records at this point, and the general public does not. The court files are no longer accessible to the public and do not appear in public search engines.
Expungement is only available to those who meet certain criteria. To be eligible for expungement, an individual must have been acquitted and not found guilty of the charged 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 factually innocent, received a pardon from the governor, or been placed on supervision and given two years to complete it.
Regardless of eligibility, a person must wait at least five years before applying for expungement. Cases can be sealed or expunged, depending on the judge’s discretion. Some felonies can be sealed or expunged, but it depends on the classification.
Some cases cannot be expunged, such as being found guilty, receiving probation, being convicted of a sexual offense against a minor, receiving a conditional discharge, or receiving DUI supervision.