If you’re like many people in Chicago, you’re eligible for criminal record expungement or sealing – but you may not even know you’re entitled to a fresh start.
Illinois expungement and sealing laws laws recently changed to include people who have been convicted of felonies. That means even if you’ve been convicted of certain felonies, you could still be allowed to seal your criminal record and make sure most employers, landlords and creditors can’t see it.
There are some exceptions, including DUI, animal crimes and sex crimes, as well as domestic battery crimes, but all felonies that aren’t listed as exceptions are now eligible for criminal record sealing.
How Can You Tell if You’re Eligible for Criminal Record Expungement or Sealing?
Expungement is a process that completely erases your criminal record, while sealing closes it and makes it private. Even if you aren’t eligible for expungement, you could still be eligible for sealing.
You can check whether you’re eligible for expungement here
For many people, it’s worth talking to a Chicago expungement attorney to learn more about the process and determine eligibility. Your lawyer will ask you:
- Whether your arrest resulted in a finding of guilty
- Whether you were convicted and sentenced to prison, jail, probation or conditional discharge, or if you were sentenced to supervision
What if the Court Expunges or Seals Your Record?
If a judge grants your expungement petition, the Illinois State Police and the agency that arrested you will destroy your records or send them back to you.
If a judge seals your criminal record, the agencies that have records on you still keep them. However, most of the general public won’t have access to them – but law enforcement professionals and prosecutors will, and so will the Department of Children and Family Services, fire departments, and a few other agencies.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Expungement or Sealing?
The Law Offices of M. Fakhoury, LLC, may be able to get you the fresh start you deserve. Call us today at 847-920-4540 to find out whether you’re eligible for expungement or criminal record sealing.