DUIs are among the most common criminal charges filed in Illinois. According to data included within the 2021 Illinois DUI Fact Book, approximately 27,000 people are arrested on drunk driving charges in the state each year. For reference, nearly 90% of those drivers lost their licenses for at least some period of time.
A DUI conviction can have short-term and long-term consequences. You may be wondering: How long does a DUI stay on your record in Illinois? In Illinois, the answer is “forever.”—a DUI conviction cannot be sealed or expunged. In this article, we provide an overview of DUIs with regard to both your driving record and criminal record.
DUIs and Your Record: Driving and Criminal
To best understand the impact that a DUI charge will have on your record, it is important to distinguish between your criminal record and your driving record. When a motorist is arrested for a DUI in Illinois, there are generally two different cases that will go forward concurrently—an administrative case and a criminal case. Here are the most important things to know about how long a DUI will stay on your record in Illinois.
- Criminal Record: In Illinois, DUI arrest records can only be sealed/removed if the charge does not result in a conviction. If you are convicted of drunk driving or drugged driving in Illinois, then the offense will stay on your criminal record forever. Not only does it not “roll-off” after a certain period of time, but you cannot file for expungement of a criminal DUI conviction in Illinois.
- Driving Record: In Illinois, a DUI is not a “points-based” offense for the purposes of your driver’s license. Instead, a DUI charge is a so-called “immediate action” offense. This means that your driver’s license will be subject to an administrative suspension in Illinois immediately after an arrest—even before the criminal process moves forward. The offense will not come off of your driving record even if you are not convicted.
DUI Convictions Are Not Eligible for Expungement in Illinois
Through a process known as expungement, certain types of criminal records can be sealed or erased. Unfortunately, Illinois does not allow for the expungement of a DUI conviction. In effect, this means that you cannot get a DUI conviction sealed. Once a conviction for intoxicated driving is on your criminal record, it will remain on your criminal record—at least as long as the current Illinois law stays in place. To get a DUI off of your record, you need to get the charges dismissed or win an acquittal at trial.
The Best Approach: Keep a DUI Conviction Off Your Record
A clean criminal record is a benefit. It can make it easier to get a job, an apartment, and a loan. You do not want a DUI to ruin your clean criminal record. That being said, once you are convicted of a DUI offense in Illinois, you have no available options to remove that adverse information. Your DUI conviction will stay on your criminal record.
A proactive approach can make a dramatic difference. Never assume that you are without options after a drunk driving arrest or drugged driving arrest. You have the right to fight Illinois DUI charges at both the administrative level and the criminal level. And we at Restorify by DUI.org help you do that, and much more.
Asking, “How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Illinois?” Talk To Restorify Today.
Are you or a loved one facing intoxicated driving charges in Illinois? Professional legal guidance and support is just a phone call away. Contact Restorify by DUI.org now for your free, no-obligation initial consultation. A representative in Illinois is standing by, ready to take immediate action to protect your rights.