If you’re like most people, you know that having a criminal record can hold you back – and a record is the last thing you want hanging over your head. Fortunately, many people who have criminal records are eligible for expungement or sealing. In fact, people all over the Northwest Side, which includes Portage Park, Irving Park, Dunning, Montclare, Belmont Cragin, and Hermosa, have gotten a fresh start through criminal
Can you expunge a sexual assault conviction in Illinois?
If you’re like many people who have been convicted of sexual assault, you’re wondering whether you can clear it from your criminal record. Having a criminal record can be extremely difficult – you might have a hard time finding a place to live, getting a job, or even getting credit.
However, there are some crimes that can never be expunged – and sexual assault is one of them.
Expungement erases your criminal record permanently. When you go through the expungement process and a judge approves your petition, the judge will issue an order for the agencies that have your record to destroy them or return them to you.
What About Sealing a Sexual Assault Conviction?
If you’ve been convicted of any crime that requires you to register as a sex offender, you cannot seal that criminal record. While sealing is available for other types of offenses – typically non-violent offenses – it’s not available for sexual assault.
What if You Were Never Convicted of Sexual Assault?
If you were charged with sexual assault and the charges were dropped, you can clear that from our criminal record. Likewise, if you went on trial for sexual assault but you were found not guilty, you can expunge it from your record.
However, if you were ever convicted of sexual assault, you are not eligible for criminal record expungement.
A sexual assault record will stick with you forever unless you get a pardon from the governor. Pardons are generally very difficult to get. The governor sees piles of petitions for pardons each year, and actually grants only a small percentage of them.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Expunging or Sealing Other Offenses?
Usually a conviction bars you from expungement, although there are a few exceptions. However, even if you’re not eligible for expungement, you could be eligible for criminal record sealing. Again, though, you can’t expunge or seal a sexual assault conviction – you can only clear some nonviolent offenses, arrests that didn’t result in charges and charges that never led to convictions.
If you need to talk to an attorney about other aspects of your criminal record, we’ll be happy to answer your questions. Call us at 847-920-4540 for a free case review today.