Making a mistake that leads to a criminal record can change the trajectory of your life. However, in Illinois, there’s a glimmer of hope. With the possibility of expunging or sealing your record, you might be able to leave the past behind and pave a smoother path forward. But what do you need to know about this process? Let’s uncover the key facts together.5 Fast Facts About Expungement in Read More
If you have a felony on your criminal record, you probably don’t want it following you around for the rest of your life – but is it possible to clear it in Illinois? This guide explains.
Can You Remove a Felony From Your Record in Illinois?
In some cases, it’s possible to remove a felony from your criminal record in Illinois. However, it’s not always an easy process – and for most people, the best way to go about it is to work with an Illinois expungement and sealing attorney.
Some felonies qualify for expungement – but not violent ones, and not those that involve sex crimes. However, most felonies can’t be permanently cleared from your record; that’s what expungement is.
The bright side is that many felonies can be sealed instead. Criminal record sealing is almost the same thing as expungement. The following table outlines the differences.
|Your criminal record is completely erased.||Your criminal record is closed off to most people.|
|Law enforcement, court personnel, and other authorities can’t see your record because it no longer exists.||Law enforcement, court personnel, and other authorities can still see your record, but it won’t show up in standard background checks.|
|You don’t have to tell anyone that you have a previous criminal record, because no criminal record exists for you.||You may have to disclose that you have a criminal record to people who have the authority to see it.|
|Your criminal records are destroyed or returned to you after a judge orders expungement.||Your criminal records still exist in court databases, with the FBI, and with police agencies.|
Who Can See Expunged and Sealed Records?
Nobody can see expunged records because they’re destroyed or returned to you. However, some people can still see sealed records, such as those that use fingerprint-based background checks (like some employers, the police, and others).
This is true whether the records you expunged were felonies or misdemeanors.
Related: Do felonies ever go away?
Why Would You Expunge or Seal a Felony?
Many people want to expunge or seal felony convictions so that the records don’t come back to haunt them later. It can be tough to find a job, get a decent place to live, or even get a line of credit if you have a felony on your record – and for that reason, a lot of people choose to work with a criminal record clearing lawyer in Illinois to clean up their pasts.
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.