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IL defense lawyerGoing through the criminal process can be a life-changing experience. Not only do you face penalties for whatever conviction you received, but you also face lasting effects when you begin to reintroduce yourself into society. Many people who have been convicted of a crime have difficulty finding employment or even a place to live. Fortunately, Illinois allows certain offenses to be sealed or expunged from a person’s record under certain circumstances, preventing the general public from viewing these documents. There are differences to the expungement and sealing process, so you should be aware of those before you decide which process to proceed with.

Record Expungement

For your criminal record to be eligible for expungement, there are certain requirements that it must meet. In Illinois, arrests for any felony or misdemeanor charge can be expunged if those arrests did not lead to a conviction. If you were convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, that record can only be expunged if your conviction was reversed or vacated, or you were pardoned by the governor of the state. You may also be able to have sentences of court supervision expunged from your record, as long as it has been at least two years since the completion of the sentence. If the sentence of court supervision was imposed for domestic battery, criminal sexual abuse, operating an uninsured vehicle, operating a vehicle with a revoked registration, or displaying a false insurance card, it must be at least five years after the sentence is completed to expunge the record.

Sealing Your Record

If your record is not eligible for expungement, it may be eligible to be sealed, which can still help. Arrests for misdemeanor and felony convictions can be sealed at any time. Most convictions for most felonies and misdemeanor crimes are eligible to be sealed if at least three years have passed since the sentence was completed. It is important to note that not all convictions can be sealed. For example, you cannot seal a conviction for DUI, reckless driving, domestic battery, violating an order of protection, or any sexual offense.

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