How Long Do You Have to Wait to Seal Your Record in Illinois?

If you’re like many people with a criminal record in the state of Illinois, you know that you have some options for clearing your name. Those options include expungement and sealing. Though the two processes are very similar to each other, they each have a different outcome. Expungement completely erases your criminal record so it’s gone forever, while sealing your criminal record simply hides it from most people. Criminal offenses that can’t be expunged may often be sealed, which makes that a great option for many people. But how long do you have to wait before sealing your criminal record in Illinois? This guide explains.

How Long Do You Have to Wait to Seal Your Record in Illinois?

First things first: Some cases don’t have any type of waiting period before sealing. You are eligible to seal cases immediately if you had one of the following outcomes:

  • You were released without being charged (commonly called RWOC)
  • Your case was dismissed
  • You were acquitted (found not guilty)
  • There was a finding of no probable cause
  • Your conviction was vacated or reversed

Criminal Record Sealing After Being Sentenced to Supervision

If you were sentenced to supervision, provided that you completed your sentence, you may be eligible to seal the case two years after the end of completion.

Related: Is it possible to get a government job if you have a criminal record?

Criminal Record Sealing After Being Sentenced to Qualified Probation

If you were sentenced to qualified probation, such as 710, 1410  or TASC, you may be eligible to seal your criminal record three years after the end of your last sentence. However, you must have completed your qualified probation sentence.

Criminal Record Sealing After a Misdemeanor or Felony Conviction

If you were convicted of a misdemeanor or felony, you may be eligible for sealing three years after you completed your last sentence. Remember, this goes for after you complete your sentence come on not when you were originally sentenced.

Related: Can you ever seal violent crimes from your record in Illinois?

Criminal Record Sealing When You Have to Be on a Registry

If part of your sentence included a requirement to register as an arsonist, sex offender, or violent offender as a youth, you aren’t allowed to seal your record until you’re no longer required to register.

Can You Get a Break on Waiting Periods for Education?

If you earned one of the following during your sentence, you may be eligible to petition the state to seal your record before you’ve completed the standard waiting period:

  • High school diploma
  • GED or other high-school equivalency certificate
  • Career certificate
  • Vocational or technical certification
  • Associate’s degree
  • Bachelor’s degree

Related: Can you look up expunged records in Illinois?

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Expungement or Sealing?

If you’re tired of your criminal past coming back to bite you, we may be able to help. Call us right now at 847-920-4540 or fill out the form below so we can talk about your case.

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