If you’re like many people, you’re sick of your criminal record hanging over your head and holding you back from doing the things you want to – or need to – do. Fortunately, there might be something you can do about it: You might qualify for expungement or sealing. But how do you get court records expunged? Here’s what you need to know.How Do You Get Court Records Expunged
For the most part, anyone with a conviction on his or her criminal record cannot have the record expunged. However, there’s one group who can.
Every case is different, but if you were honorably discharged from the United States Armed Forces, you might be able to have your conviction expunged.
Honorably Discharged Veterans and Expungement
Some veterans who have been convicted of certain Class 3 or Class 4 felonies are eligible for expungement in the state of Illinois.
Class 3 and Class 4 felonies that veterans can have expunged must be:
Remember that every case is different, though, so it’s best to talk to a Chicago expungement attorney who can help you determine whether your record is eligible for expungement.
The statute says, “Persons who have been convicted of Class 3 or 4 felonies and thereafter served in the United States Armed Forces or National Guard and received an honorable discharge, may now file a petition before the Illinois Prisoner Review Board to seek a certificate of eligibility for expungement. Additionally, persons who at the time of filing such a petition are enlisted in the United States Armed Forces or National Guard and who have served one tour of duty may also file such a petition.”
What Your Lawyer Will Need to Help Expunge Your Record
Once your attorney determines that you’re eligible for expungement, he’ll need some things from you. If you have a copy of your arrest records, any court paperwork or any written records that pertain to your conviction and sentence, your lawyer will need to see them. He’ll also need your DD-214 in order to properly argue the case that you deserve an expungement.
Block 24 of your DD-214 shows your “Character of Service”; that is the type of discharge you received from the Armed Forces. Your lawyer can point you in the right direction if you have an Under Honorable Conditions discharge, rather than a traditional Honorable discharge, because every situation is unique.
If you no longer have a copy of your DD-214, you can request one through the National Archives’ eVetRecs service