If you’re like many people, you have a criminal history that’s holding you back from doing things you want to do, such as finding a better place to live, getting the right type of job, or even attending school. However, there may be hope: You could be eligible to seal offenses on your criminal record. But can you seal a theft conviction in Illinois? Here’s what you need to know.
If you have arrests and dismissals on your criminal record, can you seal them so that prospective employers and other people won’t be able to see them? This guide explains.
Can You Seal Arrests and Dismissals on Your Criminal Record?
You can seal arrests on cases that never resulted in a conviction. In fact, these are the types of cases that are always eligible for criminal record sealing:
- Released without charging. This means you were released from police custody without being charged with a crime.
- Dismissals. This means your case was dismissed.
- Acquittals. This means you were arrested and charged, but found not guilty of the crime.
- Finding of no probable cause. When a judge rules that you were arrested with no probable cause and dismisses your case, you can seal the case on your record.
- Convictions that have been vacated or reversed. If you were tried and found guilty, but your conviction was later vacated or reversed, you can seal your record.
How Long Do You Have to Wait to Seal a Dismissed Case?
You don’t have to wait before you petition to seal an arrest that didn’t result in criminal charges or a conviction, a dismissal, an acquittal, or a finding of no probable cause. Additionally, you can seal a conviction that has been vacated or reversed right away.
How Can You Seal a Dismissed Case?
For many people, the simplest way to seal a dismissed case is to work with an attorney. Your attorney can fill out and file the appropriate petitions for you, and he can keep you updated on the status of your case. When the judge agrees to your criminal record sealing, your attorney will let you know.
Is It Better to Expunge a Dismissed Case?
Some people would rather expunge a dismissed case than seal it, and that’s okay. The difference is that when your record is sealed, most people can’t see it – but when it’s expunged, nobody can see it because the record itself no longer exists. With expungement, the agencies that have your records either destroy them or return them to you.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Sealing a Dismissed Case?
If you’d like to speak with an attorney about your options for clearing dismissed cases from your criminal record, we’re here to help. Call us at 847-920-4540 or fill out the form below to schedule your completely free case review.