Expungement in Illinois is a fairly complicated process, but before you can even petition the court to have your criminal record cleared, you need to see whether you qualify.
Do You Qualify for Expungement in Illinois?
Most people choose to talk to a Chicago expungement lawyer to determine whether they meet all the criteria for wiping the slate clean. However, you can take the first steps in determining your eligibility for expungement in Illinois by answering these four questions:
1. What is the current status of your involvement in the Illinois court system?
If you have any charges pending, or any cases open where a final disposition hasn’t been entered yet, you’ll have to wait until those are wrapped up before trying to have your record expunged.
2. Were you on “Second Chance” probation and have you successfully completed it?
If you were on Second Chance probation and you successfully completed it, then you don’t have a conviction for that offense. You might qualify for an expungement.
3. What are the dispositions on your record?
You might qualify for expungement if your criminal record includes only terms such as:
- Acquittals (“not guilty” findings)
- Finding of no probably cause
- No charges filed
- Stricken with leave
- Supervision (as long as it was successfully completed and wasn’t for certain crimes outlined under Illinois law)
4. Are you a veteran of the U.S. armed forces who has been convicted of a nonviolent, nonsexual, non-gun-related Class 3 or Class 4 felony? (If yes, did you receive an honorable discharge?)
As an honorably discharged veteran, you might be able to have some convictions expunged from your criminal record. It’s best to talk to a Chicago expungement lawyer to find out for sure.
If you’ve ever been arrested, you do have a criminal record. That’s why it’s so important to find out whether you can erase some or all of it under Illinois laws; a criminal record can stop you from getting employment, finding a place to live, or even becoming licensed in your chosen field.
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