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
If you’re like many people, you want to know what crimes can be expunged in Illinois – especially if you have a criminal record and you’d benefit from a fresh start.
Here’s what you need to know.
What Crimes Can Be Expunged in Illinois?
Criminal record expungement and criminal record sealing are two different things, but both have a similar effect under the Illinois Criminal Identification Act. With expungement, your record is completely cleared – the documentation related to your record is destroyed or returned to you. In criminal record sealing, the documentation still exists, and it typically stays with the agency that arrested you, but it’s sealed from the general public. (Some people can still access sealed records, such as government entities like the military and law enforcement, as well as some employers, such as those in the healthcare field).
For the most part, if you were convicted of a crime, you can’t expunge your record in the state of Illinois. However, there are exceptions – including those for honorably discharged veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, who can petition for a certificate of eligibility for expungement after being convicted of a Class 3 or Class 4 felony.
Some juvenile cases also qualify for expungement after a conviction.
If your record doesn’t qualify you for expungement, you could still qualify for sealing – the standards are different for each. Many misdemeanors and some felonies can be sealed, although things like DUI, domestic battery and other violent crimes, and most sex offenses do not qualify for sealing.
Your attorney can help you determine whether you qualify for expungement or sealing.
Can Your Past Crimes Be Expunged or Sealed?
Call us at 847-920-4540 now to talk to an experienced Chicago expungement lawyer who can evaluate your case and help you start moving forward. We’ll be happy to give you a free expungement case review and answer all your questions.