Criminal Record Expungement
Serving Cook and DuPage Counties

Erase Your Criminal Record

Being arrested and charged for a criminal offense can impact on your ability to get a job, get a loan and lower insurance premiums. Even if the charges are dropped and you are released from jail, the fact remains that a public record of your criminal offense still exists.

To “expunge” is to “erase or remove completely.” In law, “expungement” is a court-ordered process sealing or erasing arrests and convictions from state or federal records. An expungement order directs the court to treat the criminal conviction as if it had never occurred.

Illinois Law: Expungement or Sealing of Records

If you were convicted of a crime in Illinois, your record typically cannot be expunged, but could be eligible for sealing. Most misdemeanors and felony convictions qualify for sealing. For misdemeanors or felony convictions that don’t qualify for sealing, the only way to clear your record is to get a governor’s pardon (and it must specifically authorize the expungement of your record). Once you have had a felony conviction sealed, you may not have any subsequent felony convictions sealed. And, if you are convicted of another felony after having a felony conviction sealed, the court can order the unsealing of any previously sealed felony conviction. For more detail see 20 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 2630/5.2(c)(4) (2018).

Convictions Eligible for Expungement and Sealing

  • Convictions Eligible for Expungement:
    • Arrests for misdemeanors and felonies that did not result in a conviction
    • Convictions for misdemeanors and felonies only if they were reversed, vacated, pardoned. You must have a Certificate of Eligibility for Expungement from the Prisoner Review Board
    • Sentences for supervision where waiting period has passed
    • Sentences of qualified probation, if 5 years have passed
    • Effective January 1, 2020, conviction records for possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana are eligible for expungement if the conviction did not also involve a violent crime and the violation did not involve delivering marijuana to a child under the age of 18 who was at least three years younger than the defendant.
  • Convictions Eligible for Sealed Record:
    • Arrests and charges for misdemeanors or felonies not leading to conviction can be sealed at any time
    • Minor traffic offenses if released without being charged
    • Felony traffic offenses that were reduced to an eligible  misdemeanor
    • Most Convictions for misdemeanors and felonies can be sealed 3 years after the end of the sentence.
    • A misdemeanor conviction of Public Indecency

Juvenile Convictions Records

Some of the most common types of records that people file for an expungement are juvenile records. There are a few requirements in place that you must meet before filing for an expungement of a juvenile arrest or criminal record, including:

  • If the verdict is in your favor, you can file an appeal for expungement immediately
  • After one year has passed and you have completed a juvenile diversion program, you can file for an expungement
  • After four years have passed, if the court has dismissed jurisdiction or you have been released from commitment, you can file for an expungement

Get Legal Help Expunging or Sealing Your Criminal Record

If you live in Cook County or DuPage County and believe your criminal record may qualify for expungement or sealing, contact Peter Wachowski, criminal defense lawyer, for a free consultation today by calling 866-699-3339 ‌or‌ ‌complete‌ ‌the‌‌ ‌case‌ ‌request‌ ‌form‌.‌


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    15 N Northwest Hwy
    Park Ridge, IL 60068

    +1866-736-5324 +1866-736-4370 +1866-736-5316

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