Can You Seal a Theft Arrest in Illinois?

If you’re like many people with a few mistakes in your past, you’re wondering whether you can seal a theft arrest in Illinois. The good news is that you may be able to – so here’s what you need to know about clearing your criminal record of a theft arrest.

Can You Seal a Theft Arrest in Illinois?

Generally, if you’re arrested for a crime but never formally charged – or if you’re charged with a crime but never actually convicted – you can seal that offense on your criminal record. That’s true for theft arrests, too.

Related: Can you seal a theft conviction in Illinois?

For example, if you were arrested because the police believed you committed a theft-related crime, but they let you go without charging you, you’re most likely eligible to seal that arrest on your criminal record. You’re also most likely eligible to expunge it. Likewise, if you were arrested and charged but later found not guilty, or if your charges were dropped or your case was dismissed, you’re likely eligible for sealing or expungement.

Expungement and sealing are very similar processes, but the end results are different. If you seal a theft arrest on your record, it’s still visible to law enforcement professionals and some employers. It’ll be visible to people who run fingerprint-based background checks. Other than that, nobody will know that you have a theft arrest on your record. 

With expungement, your record is destroyed or returned to you. That means it’s like nothing ever happened – and nobody will ever know that you were arrested for theft unless you tell them. 

Many people who were arrested for theft but never convicted opt for expungement rather than sealing. 

Related: Is it possible to seal a sex crime conviction in Illinois?

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Expunging or Sealing Your Criminal Record?

If you need to speak with an attorney about clearing your criminal record, we may be able to help you. Call us at 847-920-4540 now or fill out the form below for a free consultation.

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