If you’re looking to start fresh and leave your criminal past behind you, sealing your criminal record in Illinois may be an option worth considering. But before you start the process, you need to determine whether you’re eligible. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to check your eligibility for record sealing in Illinois and why obtaining a copy of your criminal record and consulting with an attorney are Read More
If you’re expunging your criminal record in Illinois, you must first make sure you’re eligible. So what do you look for on your record to determine whether you’re eligible for criminal record clearing?
Here’s what you need to know.
Expunging Your Record? Here’s What to Look For
When you talk to a Chicago expungement attorney about clearing your criminal record, you’ll need a complete copy of your record. If you can’t get it yourself, don’t worry – your lawyer can get it for you through a background check.
Your lawyer will need to ensure that your record qualifies for expungement. If it doesn’t, you may still qualify for criminal record sealing. He’ll look at:
- Arrest dates and the police agency that arrested you
- Your official charges (the type of offense you were charged with in court, or what you were arrested for and released without charges)
- The disposition of your case, such as guilty or not guilty
- The punishment you received (your sentence)
- The date you completed your sentence
Related: Could you clear your own criminal record?
Why Do You Need That Information to Expunge Your Criminal Record?
All of the information your attorney needs will determine whether you are eligible for expungement. Generally, you can’t expunge any criminal convictions (though there are a small handful of exceptions).
You can only expunge:
- Arrests for misdemeanors or felonies that never resulted in a conviction
- Convictions that were reversed or vacated
- Offenses that resulted in a pardon from the governor
- Convictions for which you have a Certificate of Eligibility for Expungement because you’re an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
- Eligible misdemeanors or Class 4 cannabis convictions under the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act
- Convictions for which you were sentenced to court supervision – but only in limited cases (you should talk to an attorney about expungement if you were sentenced to court supervision)
- Convictions for which you were sentenced to qualified probation, but again, only in limited cases (you should consult with an attorney about expungement if this applies to you)
Offenses You Can Never Expunge in Illinois
There are some records you can never expunge, including:
- Minor traffic offenses (unless you were released without being charged)
- Convictions for any misdemeanors or felonies, unless they were reversed, vacated, pardoned by the governor, approved by the Prisoner Review Board or are a cannabis conviction under the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act
- Offenses for which you were sentenced to court supervision or qualified probation that you did not successfully complete
- Offenses related to reckless driving if you were over the age of 25 at the time of the offense
- Sexual offenses
- Any conviction that resulted in a finding of guilt and a sentence of probation (other than qualified probation that you successfully completed), jail or prison time, conditional discharge, time considered served, fines with no other sentence, or any supervision that you didn’t successfully complete
What if Some Offenses Are Eligible, but Others Are Not?
If some of your criminal offenses are eligible for expungement and others are not, you can still expunge the arrests and cases that are eligible.
Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About What to Look for On Your Criminal Record for Expungement?
If you’re thinking about expunging your criminal record, we may be able to help you. Call 847-920-4540 or fill out the form below for a free case review now.