What’s the Basic Idea Behind Expungement in Illinois, and What Laws Govern It?

The basic idea behind expungement in Illinois is to give people with a criminal record a fresh start. This process, also known as record clearing or expungement, involves having your criminal records sealed. When your records are sealed, the court order restricts public access and prevents employers, landlords, and other third parties from seeing them.

In Illinois, expungement of criminal records is regulated by the Criminal Identification Act (20 ILCS 2630/1) and the Expungement Act (730 ILCS 5/5-5-3). These laws determine which convictions are eligible for expungement, under what circumstances a person can file for expungement, and how long it will take for the expungement process to be completed. Generally speaking, only certain felonies and misdemeanors are eligible for expungement in Illinois, such as non-violent crimes with no additional enhancements or sentencing options.

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In order to file for expungement in Illinois, you must meet certain criteria, such as the length of time that has passed since your conviction, any type of probation you may have completed, and if you have maintained a clean record since then. The Expungement Act also sets out the process for filing a petition to expunge your records and how long it will take for the court to consider and rule on your petition.

The Expungement Act also outlines what happens once your criminal record is expunged. Generally, the court order sealing your records will become a public record and will be accessible to employers, landlords, and other third parties who may inquire about it. However, all of the details related to your conviction will remain private and confidential.

It is also important to note that, while expungement in Illinois can help you to clear your criminal record, it does not erase the conviction from your record. The conviction will still be accessible to certain government agencies and law enforcement officials. Additionally, if you are convicted of a new offense after having your records expunged, the original conviction may be used against you during sentencing.

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Ultimately, expungement in Illinois can help to give people with a criminal record a fresh start and the chance to move forward with their lives. However, it is important to understand that this process does not erase the conviction from your record, and there are still certain restrictions and considerations that must be taken into account.

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Expungement or Sealing?

If you’re tired of your criminal past coming back to bite you, we may be able to help. Call us right now at 847-920-4540 or fill out the form below so we can talk about your case.

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