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How to Expunge or Seal a Criminal Record in Illinois

A criminal record can impact every aspect of your life, and these impacts can have long-lasting consequences. Many people do not realize that even a single misdemeanor can mean challenges down the line. Some individuals may be able to expunge or seal their criminal record, which means that the crime does not appear publicly on their record. However, you must meet certain requirements to expunge a past criminal history, and it may not always be available. Talk to an attorney at the Law Offices of Jonathan Minkus to review your individual options. 

Determine If You Eligible for Expungement

Your criminal record can only be sealed or expunged if you qualify. There are several provisions you must fulfill, and they differ whether you wish to seal or expunge your record. For instance, you cannot expunge a crime that led to a conviction unless it was reversed or pardoned by the Governor. Additionally, the misdemeanor itself must also qualify. You may be eligible for expungement or sealing after completing two years of court supervision unless the charges involved: 

  • DUI, including those of reckless driving, unless the conviction occurred before the age of 25
  • Domestic violence, such as stalking or disobeying an order of protection
  • Sex crimes aside from prostitution
  • Battery to an unborn child
  • Dog fighting
  • Minor traffic convictions

Most misdemeanors and felonies can be sealed as long as the arrest didn’t lead to a conviction. For expungement, some charges may require you to wait 5 years to be eligible. Given how many factors influence your case, you should speak to an attorney to determine the next steps. 

Get Copies of Your Criminal Records

 If your charges qualify, you will then need to obtain copies of your criminal records to be used in your case. Criminal records outline what offenses you were charged with and the outcome of those cases. These records may include a court disposition, RAP sheet (record of arrests and prosecutions) and the Illinois State Police Statewide Criminal History Transcript. You can directly receive this information from the Illinois State Police. 

Review Your Criminal Records

Review your criminal record for your arrest dates, charges, disposition and sentencing. With an attorney, review this information and determine which charges can be expunged and which are eligible for sealing. We can help you decide what option is right for your situation. 

Fill Out and File Forms

If you are eligible for criminal record expungement or sealing, an attorney can help you complete all necessary forms, which includes the Request to Expunge & Impound and/or Seal Criminal Records form. Once completed, you must file the form with the Circuit Clerk in the county where the arrest or charge occurred. You may be able to file by mail, e-mail or in person if your request form includes criminal cases.  

Call Our Attorneys for Assistance

Some individuals may qualify for record sealing or expungement in Illinois. This is an opportunity to seal your criminal history from public records, which can open up new opportunities in your life. The process is easier to understand alongside a knowledgeable attorney. Contact the Law Offices of Jonathan Minkus to discuss your criminal record and the possibility of expungement.

For Over 33 Years

Senior Partner Jonathan Minkus has successfully defended individuals charged with every conceivable criminal offense, from traffic misdemeanors to death-penalty eligible homicides.

We urge you to contact us for a FREE, confidential, initial consultation.

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