Can You Expunge Criminal Charges in Illinois?

If you’re like many people in Illinois, you have criminal charges on your record – but can you expunge criminal charges in Illinois? What if you were found not guilty, and what if you were convicted of a crime? This guide explains. 

Can You Expunge Criminal Charges in Illinois?

You can expunge criminal charges in Illinois – but only if you were not convicted of the crime. That means you can expunge the charges if you were arrested and charged, but:

  • The charges were dropped
  • Your case was dismissed
  • You were found not guilty of the crime
  • You have a pardon from the governor

If you were actually convicted of the crime, you most likely cannot expunge your record. Most convictions are not eligible for expungement (with a few rare exceptions, such as minor drug convictions for honorably discharged veterans). 

Related: Can you join the military with a criminal record?

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t clear your record. You could still be eligible to clear your record through criminal record sealing. You’re allowed to seal many convictions, provided that they’re not violent. If you’re not sure whether your record is eligible for sealing or expungement, your best bet is to contact an attorney about your options. 

Your attorney can conduct a background check to get a full copy of your criminal record. After your lawyer reviews your criminal history, he’ll be able to tell you what offenses qualify for expungement and what offenses qualify for sealing. 

Related: Which crimes do NOT qualify for sealing in Illinois?

What if I Only Have Convictions?

If you only have convictions, there’s a good chance that you’ll only be eligible for sealing. Some of the offenses on your record may not qualify for sealing, either. In that case, they must remain on your record.

What if I Only Have Arrests?

If you were arrested and never convicted of a crime, your record is likely eligible for expungement. 

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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