Can You Expunge or Seal a DUI in Illinois?

If you’re like many people with a past drunk driving conviction, you want to know if it stays on your criminal record forever – and unfortunately, in the vast majority of cases, it does.

Illinois law does not allow you to expunge or seal a DUI from your criminal record. The only way to get DUI-related incidents removed from your record is if:

  • You were arrested but never actually charged with a crime
  • You were found not guilty of DUI
  • Your case was dismissed
  • You apply for – and are granted – a pardon from the governor of Illinois

What is a Pardon?

A pardon overturns your conviction and removes it from your criminal record. The only way to get a pardon is to ask the governor of the state to give you one – but that happens in very, very few cases. Pardons are exceptionally rare.

Related: What’s the difference between a pardon and clemency?

Clearing DUI-Related Incidents From Your Record

If you meet any of the conditions listed above – you were arrested and not charged, you were found not guilty, or your case was dismissed – you may be able to clear related incidents (like the arrest) from your criminal record.


Only some people are eligible for criminal record expungement. Expungement erases your record – it’s like nothing ever happened. If you were arrested but not charged or found not guilty, you may be able to have that information taken off your criminal record permanently.

Again, though, not everyone is eligible for criminal record expungement – and if you were convicted of DUI, you cannot expunge it from your record.

Related: Find out if you’re eligible for expungement now


People who aren’t eligible for criminal record expungement may still be eligible for sealing. However, again, not everyone is eligible – and if you were actually convicted of DUI, you cannot seal it.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About DUI-Related Incidents on Your Criminal Record?

If you’re eligible for expungement or sealing – and you weren’t convicted of DUI – we may be able to help you get a fresh start.

Call us at 847-920-4540 for a free case review today