If a Record is Expunged, Who Can See It?

If you get your criminal record expunged, can anyone see it? This guide explains who can see your record after it’s been expunged.

If a Record is Expunged, Who Can See It?

If you have your criminal record expunged in the state of Illinois, nobody will ever see it. In fact, it’s like you never had a criminal record at all. There are some catches to that, though; sometimes it’s only possible to expunge part of a criminal record. If that happens, people will still be able to see the parts of your record that have not been expunged.

The reason nobody can see your criminal record after it’s been expunged is that your record no longer exists. The state of Illinois requires anyone who has a copy of your criminal record to destroy it or return it to you with an order of expungement. That means your record no longer exists in the system, so there’s nothing for anyone to see.

Related: Do arrests show up on a background check?

Is Expungement a Better Solution Than Sealing?

When you seal a criminal record in Illinois, most people won’t be able to see it. However, some people will. If anyone conducts a fingerprint based background check on you, they will most likely be able to see your criminal record, even if it’s been sealed. Some employers are authorized to run fingerprint based background checks, such as the government, the military, some health care related employers, and others. Additionally, law enforcement and those working in the justice system will also be able to see your criminal record.

If you have a record sealed, people who don’t run fingerprint based background checks won’t be able to see it. Most landlords, creditors and employers fall into this category.

Related: Can you get a FOID card with an expunged record?

Expungement isn’t necessarily a better solution than sealing is. It depends on your needs and what type of record you want cleared. Many criminal convictions disqualify you from expungement, but it’s possible to seal them. If you’re not sure what’s right for you, you should talk to an attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can give you the guidance you need to make the right decisions and begin moving forward with your life.

Related: Will expunged records show up on a fingerprint background check?

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Criminal Record Expungement?

If you’re thinking about clearing your criminal record, we may be able to help you. Call us at 847-920-4540 or fill out the form below now for a free case review.

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