Can you expunge an order of protection in Illinois? No, you can’t – but it’s not for the reasons you may think. Here’s what you need to know.
Can You Expunge an Order of Protection in Illinois?
You can’t expunge an order of protection in Illinois because it’s part of a civil case. That means it doesn’t appear on your criminal record. Because it’s not on your criminal record, you can’t expunge it or seal it – those two actions only apply to criminal records.
Can You Expunge Violation of an Order of Protection From Your Criminal Record?
If you violate an order of protection, you’re committing a crime – and if you’re caught and it ends up on your criminal record, you’re stuck with it. You cannot expunge or seal a conviction for violation of an order of protection, civil no-contact order or stalking no-contact order.
The law limits what you can expunge and seal from your record. For example, you can generally only expunge:
Arrests for misdemeanors or felonies that never resulted in a conviction
Sentences for supervision, but only if the waiting period has passed
Sentences of qualified probation, but only if the waiting period has passed
You can usually only seal:
Arrests and charges for misdemeanors and felonies that never led to a conviction
Felony traffic offenses that were reduced to an eligible misdemeanor
Convictions for most misdemeanors and felonies
If you have eligible offenses on your criminal record – things that weren’t part of a civil case (like an order of protection) – then you may be able to expunge or seal them. If you expunge your record, nobody will ever see it; that’s because your records are destroyed or returned to you. If you seal your record, some people will still be able to see the offenses on it (like law enforcement, the courts and some employers, including the military and some in the healthcare field).
There are some criminal records you can seal immediately in Illinois – you don’t have to wait until a waiting period expires. Here’s what you need to know about which criminal records you can seal immediately.
Related: How long do I have to wait to seal criminal records in Illinois?
What Criminal Records Can You Seal Immediately in Illinois?
There is no waiting period to file a petition to seal