Can You Expunge Violent Misdemeanors in Illinois?

Beginning Januray 1, 2015, people convicted of violent misdemeanors, such as assault, battery and others, will be eligible for expungement.

This is huge news.

Before this amendment, the only way people convicted of assault, battery and other misdemeanor “crimes of violence” could get a fresh start was to apply for executive clemency in the State of Illinois.   

Expunging Violent Misdemeanors in Illinois

An amendment to the Criminal Identification Act removed the text that made it unlawful for judges to expunge violent misdemeanors – specifically, “offenses defined as ‘crimes of violence’” – making people with those convictions eligible to submit a petition.

How to Expunge Violent Misdemeanors

Many people feel more comfortable working with an attorney to have their criminal records expunged. This is usually because the paperwork can be confusing, and it’s a very time-consuming process. Additionally, the state’s attorney might object to your petition for expungement – and that means you’ll have a hearing in front of the judge assigned to your case where you’ll have the chance to defend yourself. Working with a lawyer can help alleviate some of the pressure associated with speaking in front of the judge, and your lawyer can represent you and ensure that the judge hears the whole truth of your story.

Should You Try to Have Your Violent Misdemeanors Expunged?

As a Cook County and DuPage County expungement lawyer, I’m always going to recommend that you try. There’s no reason that your past should hang over your head forever – and if that’s just not who you are anymore, you deserve to put the past where it belongs: in the past.

If you need help, let me know. I’ll do everything I can to help you clear your record and move on with your life.


Attorney, Illinois expungement lawyer