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Clearing a Criminal Record in Illinois

Posted on in Criminal Law

Illinois clearing a criminal record, Crystal Lake Criminal Defense AttorneysA criminal record can have a negative effect on many areas of a person's life, and for some people with a criminal record, if they could make it go away, they would jump at the opportunity. Fortunately, Illinois law allows people with eligible arrests, convictions, and supervisions to seal or have their records expunged.

Sealing is the process of restricting access to a person's criminal record by the general public. If a person's criminal record is sealed, it does not disappear; it is kept under seal but still available to law enforcement. When someone's criminal record is expunged, law enforcement agencies destroy all of his or her records regarding the record, and it becomes as though the arrest or conviction never occurred. Expungement is only available to a person who has not been convicted of a crime.

Generally, felonies cannot be expunged or sealed unless the conviction is for a class 4 felony prostitution or drug possession. Most misdemeanor convictions can be sealed. If a person receives a pardon that authorizes expungement, then he or she can have other felonies removed from his or her record in this way. A person seeking expungement or sealing of his or her record may also have to wait several years between a qualifying conviction and applying to have it sealed or expunged, except in cases where the person was acquitted of the charged crime or had his or her charges dismissed.

Even when a person is wrongly arrested and never convicted of a crime, the arrest record still exists and can be searchable by potential employers. While some employers may give the person a chance to explain the record, others may not. The only way to ensure potential employers do not see such a record is to expunge the record. The process is not started automatically for arrests that do not result in prosecution or conviction; the arrestee has to take proactive steps to remove the arrest from their record. There is an exception to this for juvenile arrests that do not result in a petition for delinquency being filed or adjudication against the minor. These kind of juvenile records are supposed to be automatically expunged annually if the person is over the age of 18 years old and it has been six months since his or her last arrest.

Contact Us for Legal Assistance

If you have been arrested for a DUI, drug possession, or other criminal charge, you may be eligible for expungement or sealing of your criminal record. For more information on whether your record is eligible for these ways to clear your criminal record, contact our experienced Crystal Lake criminal defense attorneys at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC and let us assist you today.




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