When you’re looking to leave your past legal troubles behind, you’ll encounter two key options: expungement and sealing. Both can significantly impact your future, but in different ways. Understanding which path is more beneficial for your unique situation is crucial as you seek to clear your name and move forward. This guide will help you understand the differences between expungement and sealing, and how each one can shape your future. Read More
If you’re like many people with a criminal past, you want to know about felony expungement in Chicago and the rest of Illinois. Here’s the scoop.
Felony Expungement in Illinois
The state of Illinois will expunge some criminal records under some conditions. If your record is expunged, the public won’t be able to see it – it’s like it never happened.
However, if you’ve been convicted of a crime, the court won’t expunge it from your record. (There is an exception for veterans, which you can see below.)
Felony expungement is only available if:
- You were arrested for a felony but never convicted
- You were convicted of a felony but your conviction was reversed, vacated or pardoned
- You received a sentence for supervision and the waiting period has passed
There are some other exceptions, too, so even if you’ve been convicted of a felony, it may be worthwhile to call a Chicago expungement lawyer to learn about your options.
Even if you don’t qualify for felony expungement, you could qualify for criminal record sealing. The law allows sealing for many felony convictions (and misdemeanors, too).
What About Honorably Discharged Veterans and Felony Expungement?
Some honorably discharged veterans can have felony convictions expunged. The law applies only to Class 3 and Class 4 felonies, and the crimes must have been non-violent, non-sexual and non-gun-related.
Related: Veterans and expungement in Illinois
Felony Expungement: What Never Comes Off Your Record
Some crimes are never eligible for expungement or sealing. Usually, violent crimes and sex crimes stay on your record forever (unless you’re able to get a pardon from the governor, which is extremely rare).
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Possible Felony Expungement?
If you think you may be eligible for felony expungement – if you’re a veteran, or you were never convicted of the felony you were charged with – or if you’d like to learn more about criminal record sealing, which can prevent the public from seeing the felonies on your criminal record, we can help.
Call us right now at 847-920-4540 for a free case review. We’ll talk about your record and see if you qualify for felony expungement. If you don’t qualify for felony expungement, we can talk about criminal record sealing.