You may have heard that – with very few exceptions – you can’t expunge a conviction from your criminal record in Illinois. That’s true, but what is a conviction for expungement purposes? This guide explains.
What is a Conviction for Expungement Purposes?
A conviction is a finding of guilt that results in incarceration (jail or prison), probation, a conditional discharge, fine, or time served. If the court finds you guilty, you have been convicted of a crime. For the most part, you can’t expunge any records of convictions (though you may still be able to seal them).
Related: Adult expungement and sealing checklist for Illinois cases
What is Not a Conviction for Expungement Purposes
Sometimes court terminology isn’t as straightforward as it could be. If you have any of the following dispositions (case outcomes), you have not been convicted of a crime for expungement purposes:
- Finding of not guilty
- Case dismissed
- Finding of no probable cause (FNPC)
- Nolle prosequi (NP)
- Sentenced to supervision
- Stricken off with leave to reinstate (SOL)
- Successful completion of special probation or TASC probation
If your case outcome looks like any of these (check your RAP sheet to be sure), you may be eligible to expunge your criminal record.
Related: Can an employer ask me about my criminal record?
What if You Have Convictions?
Many convictions, both misdemeanor and felony, can be sealed if they don’t qualify for expungement. Sealing is a very similar process, and it results in most people not being able to see your criminal record.
Some offenses have to stay on your record forever, though, such as:
- Class A misdemeanors under the Humane Care for Animals Act
- Dog Fighting
- Domestic battery or aggravated domestic battery
- Public indecency (felony)
- Misdemeanors under Article 11 of the Criminal Code
- Reckless driving (in most cases)
- Sex offenses
- Soliciting or patronizing a prostitute
- Violation of protective orders and no-contact orders
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Expunging or Sealing Your Criminal Record?
If you need to speak with an attorney about clearing your criminal record, we may be able to help you. Call us at 847-920-4540 now or fill out the form below for a free consultation.
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