How to Clear a Misdemeanor From Your Record in Chicago

If you’ve been convicted of a misdemeanor crime in Chicago, Skokie, Rolling Meadows or elsewhere in Illinois, you may be able to prevent people from seeing it in a background check

Many people with misdemeanor convictions qualify for criminal record sealing, which means the records that law enforcement agencies and the courts have will become private – and landlords, many potential employers, and the general public can no longer see them.

How to Clear a Misdemeanor From Your Record in Chicago

Criminal record sealing may be the right choice for you. Sealing is different from expungement (expungement happens when the agencies that have your records either destroy them or return them to you) because with sealing, the agencies that have your records keep them – they just “seal” them away from public view.

Most people who have been convicted of a crime do not qualify for expungement.

Related: Do I qualify for expungement in Illinois?

To clear a misdemeanor from your record in Chicago or the suburbs, you’ll have to go through the criminal record sealing process or receive a pardon from the governor. Pardons are not easy to come by, so for most people, the only option is criminal record sealing.

For most people, it makes sense to work with an attorney to seal a criminal record. You’ll need a copy of your entire criminal record (your lawyer can get it if you can’t) to find out whether you’re eligible for criminal record sealing. If you are, your attorney can file the appropriate paperwork with the court.

Related: Where to get copies of your criminal records in Chicago

Sometimes, the state’s attorney objects to a person’s request for criminal record sealing. If that happens, you could be entitled to a hearing – and your attorney can represent you at that hearing. Your lawyer will explain your side of the story and fight for your rights.

Your petition for criminal record sealing will eventually end up in a judge’s hands. The judge has the final say in whether or not you can seal your record. If the judge agrees with you that you deserve a fresh start through sealing, the court will order every agency that has copies of your records to seal them from public view.

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Clearing a Misdemeanor From Your Record in Chicago?

If you have a misdemeanor on your record that you’d like to seal, call us right now at 847-920-4540 to talk to a criminal record sealing attorney. We’ll ask you some questions about your case and answer your questions, too – and if you qualify for sealing, we can help you get the best possible outcome.