Clearing your criminal record through sealing gives you a fresh start – it means that most people will never be able to see your history through a regular background check. However, there are seven criminal offenses you can never seal in Illinois; they must stay on your criminal record forever unless you receive a pardon from the governor or they’re vacated or reversed.
Here’s what they are.
7 Criminal Offenses You Can Never Seal in Illinois
Some criminal offenses must stay on your criminal record – they’re never eligible for sealing. Those offenses include:
- Minor traffic offenses
- Many driving offenses
- Domestic battery
- Violation of an Order of Protection
- Sexual offenses
- Animal offenses
- New felony convictions after you have already had felony convictions sealed
Here’s a closer look at each.
Minor Traffic Offenses
You can’t seal minor traffic offenses from your criminal record in Illinois. They have to remain on your driving record.
Many Driving Offenses
Some driving offenses must remain on your record. That’s because they affect your driving privileges, and if you reoffend in the future, they may affect your sentencing. The driving offenses that you can’t seal include:
- Driving under the influence
- Reckless driving, unless you were under the age of 25 at the time of the offense and you have no other convictions for DUI or reckless driving
You can never seal a domestic battery conviction. That means if you were found guilty of domestic battery (or aggravated domestic battery) in court, it will stay on your criminal record permanently. The only way you can seal domestic battery is by having your conviction pardoned by the governor or by having the conviction vacated or reversed.
Violation of an Order of Protection
Violation of an Order of Protection, a Civil No-Contact Order, or a Stalking No-Contact Order must stay on your criminal record. These offenses cannot be expunged or sealed.
Sexual offenses remain on your criminal record forever, including:
- Soliciting or patronizing a prostitute
- Public indecency if you’re convicted of it as a felony (although misdemeanor convictions of this crime are eligible for sealing)
- Any sex offense that requires you to register as a sex offender
- Any other misdemeanor offense listed under Article 11 of the Criminal Code (except prostitution)
You can’t seal certain animal offenses from your criminal record, including:
- Dog fighting
- Any Class A misdemeanor under the Humane Care for Animals Act
New Felony Convictions After Previous Sealing
If you’ve sealed felony convictions in the past, you cannot seal new ones that occur after your previous sealing. In fact, a new felony conviction after sealing past felony convictions can result in the unsealing of your past convictions.
Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Sealing Your Criminal Records?
If you need to talk to a lawyer about sealing your criminal records and getting the fresh start you deserve, call us at 847-920-4540 or fill out the form below – we’ll be happy to review your case for free.
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