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’re like many people, you’re entitled to a fresh start through criminal record sealing. But how long do you have to wait to seal your criminal record in Illinois? This guide explains.
How Long Do I Have to Wait to Seal My Criminal Record in Illinois?
You can’t just walk into the courthouse and tell someone there to seal your record – you have to go through a very specific process. In many cases, you also have to wait a certain period of time before you can even ask the court to clear your criminal record through sealing.
First things first: You can immediately petition the court to seal any offenses with these outcomes:
- You were arrested but released without being charged
- Your case was dismissed
- You were acquitted (found not guilty)
- There was a finding of no probable cause
- You were convicted, but your conviction was vacated or reversed
You may not be able to seal your record if you’re currently serving a sentence for something else, or if you have a case pending – but other than that, you can petition the court to seal a case with any of the outcomes listed above.
How Long Do I Have to Wait to Seal My Criminal Record if I Was Sentenced to Supervision?
If the judge in your case sentenced you to supervision and you successfully completed that supervision, you may be able to petition the court after two years of the end of your last sentence.
How Long Do I Have to Wait to Seal My Criminal Record if I Was Convicted?
If you were convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony, you must wait three years after the end of your last sentence before you can ask the court to seal your record.
How Long Do I Have to Wait to Seal My Criminal Record if I Was Sentenced to Qualified Probation?
If the judge in your case sentenced you to qualified probation, such as 710, 1410, or TASC, you may be able to petition the court to seal your record if three years have passed since you completed your probation.
What if You Got an Education?
Sometimes you can ask the court to seal your record sooner than normal – such as when you earn a diploma, career certificate, associate’s or bachelor’s degree, vocational-technical certification, or a high school equivalency certificate (like a GED). If this may apply to you, you should talk to an attorney.
Do You Need to Talk to a Criminal Record Sealing Attorney in Illinois?
If you need to speak with an attorney about your situation, call us at 847-920-4540 or fill out the form below to schedule your free consultation. We’ll have a look at your criminal record and answer your questions about expungement and sealing, and we’ll help determine whether you’re eligible for a fresh start.