How to Determine If You’re Eligible for Criminal Record Expungement in Chicago

Determining if you’re eligible for criminal record expungement in Chicago can be a confusing process. This guide aims to simplify the process by explaining the key factors to consider and the steps to follow in determining your eligibility.

How to Determine If You’re Eligible for Criminal Record Expungement in Chicago

This guide explains the following:

  • Understand the difference between expungement and sealing
  • Review the types of cases eligible for expungement
  • Check the waiting period requirements
  • Consult an attorney

Here’s a closer look at each.

Understand the Difference Between Expungement and Sealing

Before you begin the process, it’s essential to understand the difference between expungement and sealing. Expungement completely erases your criminal record, as if it never happened. Sealing, on the other hand, doesn’t erase your record but makes it inaccessible to the general public. Law enforcement agencies and certain employers may still access sealed records. Knowing the difference can help you determine which process is right for your situation.

Related: Navigating the Illinois expungement process, step by step

Review the Types of Cases Eligible for Expungement

To determine if you’re eligible for expungement in Chicago, you’ll need to review the types of cases that qualify. Generally, cases that qualify for expungement include:

  • Arrests that didn’t result in a conviction
  • Cases that resulted in successful completion of a court-ordered program, such as a drug treatment program
  • Cases in which the conviction was reversed or vacated
  • Cases that resulted in a pardon or certificate of innocence

Cases that don’t qualify for expungement include those that resulted in a conviction, except under specific circumstances.

Related: The ultimate guide to sealing your record in Illinois

Check the Waiting Period Requirements

Even if your case is eligible for expungement, you’ll need to meet specific waiting period requirements. Waiting periods vary depending on the type of case and the outcome. For example, if your case resulted in an acquittal or dismissal, there’s no waiting period. However, if you successfully completed a court-ordered program, you’ll need to wait two to five years, depending on the program. In cases where you received a pardon or certificate of innocence, there’s no waiting period.

Consult an Attorney

Determining eligibility for criminal record expungement can be complicated. It’s wise to consult an experienced attorney who specializes in expungements. They can help you navigate the eligibility requirements, review your criminal record, and advise you on the best course of action. Additionally, an attorney can guide you through the expungement process, ensuring all necessary paperwork is filed correctly and on time.

Related: How to check your eligibility for record-sealing in Illinois

In conclusion, understanding the difference between expungement and sealing, reviewing the types of cases eligible for expungement, checking waiting period requirements, and consulting an attorney are crucial steps in determining if you’re eligible for criminal record expungement in Chicago. With the right information and guidance, you can take the necessary steps toward a fresh start.

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Expungement or Sealing?

If you’re tired of your criminal past coming back to bite you, we may be able to help. Call us right now at 847-920-4540 or fill out the form below so we can talk about your case.

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