Expungement Waiting Periods in Illinois

If you’re like many people with a criminal record, you want it erased – and fortunately, you might qualify for expungement or sealing. But how long do you have to wait to clear your record if you’re eligible? Here’s what you need to know.

Expungement Waiting Periods in Illinois

While every case is different, and you should talk to a Chicago expungement attorney if you’re not sure about yours, you have to be eligible for expungement in order to start the process (otherwise you’re wasting time and money). Here’s a quick look at what is – and what isn’t – eligible for expungement.

Arrest, Charge or Sentence

Eligible

Not Eligible

Arrests for misdemeanors that did not result in a conviction

X

 
Arrests for felonies that did not result in a conviction

X

 
Sentences for supervision (after the required waiting period)

X

 
Sentences of qualified probation (after the required waiting period)

X

 
Federal convictions  

X

Convictions outside of the state of Illinois  

X

Sentences you have not yet completed (including parole, probation or court supervision)  

X

Misdemeanor convictions  

X

Felony convictions  

X

Court supervision or qualified probation that you have not yet completed  

X

Court supervision for reckless driving if you were 25 or older at the time of your arrest for the offense  

X

Court supervision for sexual offenses against minors  

X

Court supervision for driving under the influence  

X

 

There are a couple of exceptions here, though:

  • If you’re an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, you may be able to expunge certain nonviolent Class 3 and Class 4 felonies.
  • If you were convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony and your conviction was reversed, the decision was vacated, you were pardoned or approved by the Prisoner Review Board, you are eligible for expungement.

So how long do you have to wait?

It depends on your case. Here’s a quick reference guide to the expungement waiting periods.

What Happened With Your Case?

Waiting Period

Your charge was dismissed. There is no waiting period. You can expunge your record immediately.
You were acquitted. There is no waiting period. You can expunge your record immediately.
You were found not guilty. There is no waiting period. You can expunge your record immediately.
You were sentenced to supervision. You must usually wait at least 2 years from the date you successfully completed supervision.
You were sentenced to special probation. You must usually wait until at least 5 years have passed since your probation was terminated.

 

What if You Don’t Qualify for Expungement?

If you don’t qualify for expungement, you may still qualify for criminal record sealing. You may want to talk to an attorney about your case before you decide what to do next – and you can call us for a free consultation any time. We’re available at 847-920-4540. If it’s easier, you can fill out our contact form and we’ll get in touch with you as soon as possible.

Do You Need to Talk to a Chicago Expungement Attorney?

If you need to talk to a Chicago expungement attorney about your case, we are always here to help. Call us at 847-920-4540 for a free case review right now. We also offer a $299 DIY expungement service (and it’s good for any county in Illinois), which may be an option for you if money is tight right now.

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