Chicago Criminal Expungements Blog

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Do I Qualify for Expungement in Illinois?

If you're like most people who have a criminal record - and anyone who's ever been arrested has a criminal record - you're wondering whether you qualify for expungement in Illinois. Not everyone does, but in many cases, those who don't qualify for expungement in Illinois do qualify for criminal record sealing.

So how do you know if you qualify for expungement in Illinois?

Do I Qualify for Expungement in Illinois?

Your record can be expunged if you were found not guilty of the charges or if the state dismissed the charges against you, as long as you meet other criteria. Some people are eligible to expunge certain misdemeanors, too. For example, if you were sentenced to supervision for crimes like a first-time pot violation, illegal use of alcohol or other crimes, you could be eligible to clear them from your record. (In those cases, though, you usually must wait a certain amount of time after completing your sentence of supervision, and you must not have been arrested or convicted of a crime since then.)

Related: Felony expungement in Illinois

You can find out if you're eligible for expungement here. Every case is different, though, so for most people, it makes sense to talk to a Chicago expungement lawyer to discuss your situation and find out if there's anything on your record that would make you ineligible.

What About Sealing?

If you don't qualify for expungement, which erases your criminal record forever, you could still qualify for criminal record sealing. 

Related: Sealing or expungement of your Illinois criminal record 

Sealing is different from expungement. In expungement, your criminal record is destroyed or sent back to you - but when your record is sealed, it's just not open to most people. That means landlords and prospective employees can't access it as a matter of public record (although there are exceptions, like the military and some civilian employers, such as hospitals). 

If you're not sure whether you qualify for expungement or sealing, your best bet is to get in touch with an attorney who can help you figure it out. 

Related: Who qualifies for criminal record expungement?

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Qualifying for Expungement in Illinois?

Call us at 847-920-4540 right now or get in touch with us online for a free expungement evaluation. We'll ask you some questions about your situation, answer your questions, and start building a strategy that gets you the best possible outcome.


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