request
X

FREE CONSULTATION

Thank you for your interest in The Law Offices of Andrew M. Weisberg. Please fill out the form below and we will be in touch soon

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

*Indicates Required Fields

bbb-rating

Call Today for a FREE CONSULTATION

SE HABLA ESPAÑOL

(773) 908-9811

(773) 377-4310

AVAILABLE 24 HOURS/7 DAYS

menu

X

request

(773) 908-9811

AVAILABLE 24 HOURS/7 DAYS

FOLLOW US:

Aggressive. Experienced.

Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
Former Cook County Felony Prosecutor

blog_homeBlog Home

Can You Get Your IL Criminal Record Sealed or Expunged?

If you have a criminal record in Illinois, it can negatively impact your entire life. A criminal record can limit your employment opportunities, make it harder to find housing, and even harm your ability to obtain a loan or credit. 

Fortunately, Illinois law provides for the sealing and expungement of criminal records, allowing eligible individuals to move on from their past mistakes and start anew. The key word in that sentence, however, is “eligible.” You can only have your record sealed or expunged if you qualify.

In this post, we’re going to cover what it means to seal or expunge your record, who is eligible, and how the process works.

What Does “Sealing Your Record” Mean in Illinois?

Record sealing is a legal process that allows individuals to seal their criminal records from public view. Sealing a criminal record means that it will no longer be visible to the public, including employers, landlords, and financial institutions. In essence, a sealed record is hidden from view and is only accessible by court order.

Sealing is not the same as expungement, which involves the destruction of a criminal record. When a record is expunged, it is as if the arrest or conviction never occurred. Sealing, on the other hand, preserves the record but restricts access to it.

Who Is Eligible for Record Sealing in Chicago?

Not everyone is eligible for record sealing in our state. According to Illinois law, the eligibility criteria for sealing vary depending on the offense. 

Generally, individuals with a single arrest or conviction for a non-violent misdemeanor or felony offense may be eligible for record sealing. Offenses that are eligible for record sealing here include:

  • Minor traffic offenses
  • Municipal ordinance violations
  • Class 3 and 4 felonies
  • Class 2 felonies committed on or after January 1, 2014
  • Class 4 drug possession offenses
  • Certain prostitution offenses
  • Certain battery offenses

Offenses that are not eligible for sealing include:

  • Most violent offenses
  • Sexual offenses
  • DUI offenses
  • Domestic battery
  • Animal cruelty offenses

It is important to note that even if an offense is eligible for sealing, there are additional criteria that must be met before a record can be sealed. 

For example, there may be a waiting period between the completion of a sentence and the filing of a sealing petition. Additionally, individuals may need to have completed certain conditions, such as community service or probation, before they can be considered for sealing.

How to Seal Your Illinois Criminal Record

The process of sealing a criminal record involves filing a petition with the court. The petition must be filed in the court where the case was originally heard. Once the petition is filed, the court will review it and make a determination as to whether the record should be sealed.

The process of sealing a criminal record can be complex, and it is recommended that individuals seeking sealing consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney can help you understand your eligibility for sealing, prepare the necessary documentation, and represent you in court.

What Are Some Benefits of Sealing Your Criminal Record in Illinois?

Sealing your criminal record can have significant benefits, including:

What Are Some Benefits of Sealing Your Criminal Record in Illinois?

  • Increased employment opportunities. A sealed record can make it easier to obtain employment, as employers will not be able to see your criminal history.
  • Better housing options. Landlords often conduct background checks on potential tenants. A sealed record can improve your chances of being approved for housing.
  • Improved credit options. Financial institutions may consider a criminal record when evaluating loan or credit applications. A sealed record can help improve your creditworthiness.
  • Peace of mind. A sealed record can provide a sense of closure and allow individuals to move on from their past mistakes.

 

About the Author:

Andrew M. Weisberg is a former felony prosecutor who now serves as a defense attorney in the greater Chicago area. He has extensive experience handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and domestic violence to retail theft-related crimes, murder, and drug crimes. His work has been recognized by Avvo, Expertise, National Trial Lawyers, and others, and he has been featured on countless news outlets for his experience and knowledge in criminal law.

Our Blog

Using the 2nd Amendment to Fight IL Weapons Charges

Weapons Charges

In the realm of criminal law, navigating weapons charges can be a daunting task, especially in jurisdictions like Chicago, where firearm regulations are stringent. However, one avenue that defendants may explore is invoking the protections offered by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Understanding how the Second Amendment intersects with weapons charges and its interpretation within the legal framework of Chicago is crucial for building a robust defense strategy.

The Second Amendment: An Overview

The Second Amendment of [...]

Mistaken Identity: When You’re Not the Chicago Thief They’re Looking For

Mistaken Identity | Wrongful Accusations | Theft

In the realm of criminal justice, mistaken identity is a persistent and troubling issue. One of the most distressing scenarios is when an individual finds themselves falsely accused of theft, grappling with the repercussions of a crime they didn’t commit.

Such cases often underscore the critical importance of establishing an airtight alibi and presenting compelling evidence to assert innocence. Let’s delve into this complex issue, exploring real-life instances of mistaken identity in theft accusations and the imperative of constructing a [...]